had my initial reservations about this Bon Appetite recipe as I thought cornmeal is more suited for savoury bakes rather than sweet ones. I did not think this was going to taste good, but I was so wrong. This is by far, one of the most moist and delicious cakes I have made. The best part are the beautifully caramelised apples on top (or the bottom if you look at it from a different perspective) of the cake.
The apples set at bottom of the pan browned beautifully giving the top of the cake a lovely golden tone.
I love the way these caramelised apples look right after they came out of the frying pan – they remind me of golden roasted potatoes. I made half the recipe in a 6 inch tin and immediately wished I made the full recipe after I took my first bite.
The cake is totally divine served warm with ice cream – a slice of heaven on earth.
Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake (9 inch)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds Braeburn or Golden Delicious apples (about 4 medium), peeled, quartered, cored, each quarter cut into 2 wedges
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup boiling water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) . Generously butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides; line pan with 10-inch-diameter parchment paper round (parchment will come 1/2 inch up sides of pan). Butter parchment. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture turns deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add apple wedges and gently shake skillet to distribute caramel evenly. Cover and cook until apples release their juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until apples are tender and caramel thickens and coats apples, stirring occasionally, about 13 minutes. Transfer apples and caramel syrup to prepared cake pan, spreading evenly.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl to blend. Place cornmeal in large bowl; pour 1/2 cup boiling water over and stir to blend. Add 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar to cornmeal mixture. Using electric mixer, beat until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk in 2 additions each. Pour batter over apples in pan.
Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes. Run small knife between cake and pan sides to loosen cake. Carefully invert cake onto ovenproof or microwavable platter and peel off parchment. Cool 15 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Cake can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Rewarm in 350°F oven about 10 minutes or microwave on medium just until slightly warm, about 2 minutes.