double apple crumble cake

I bought a copy of Claire Saffitz's recipe book, Dessert Person, in 2021 and I've been meaning to make the Double Apple Crumble Cake from the book ever since. The sticking point was the apple butter, which I've never seen in the shops. I came home from Brisbane to find some very manky apples in my fridge, tracked down a recipe for apple butter and made a small batch. With apple butter at hand I had no excuse any more and set to making the cake.

I changed things a little as is my wont. Claire suggests using unsweetened and unspiced apple butter in the cake batter but I'd already made my apple butter before reading the recipe so I went with what I had. 

I have a really nice crumble recipe so decided to use my recipe instead of Claire's. I also had half a green apple left over, so sliced it thinly and topped the cake with the slices, then glazed the slices with some warmed apricot jam. Please don't feel you have to do this; I just didn't want the apple to go to waste.

Here's the recipe for you, adapted from here, which makes a 17cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a larger cake, refer to the original recipe.

Small Double Apple Crumble Cake – adapted from Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
60g raw sugar
2 heaped tbsp rolled oats
pinch of cinnamon 

25g unsalted butter
400g Pink Lady or Granny smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 5mm slices
130g plain flour
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb soda
¼ tsp salt
110g apple butter (from specialty stores or recipe below)
110g caster sugar
60g sour cream
30g vegetable oil
1 large egg 
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the crumble by rubbing the flour and butter together, and stirring in the sugar, oats and cinnamon to make large crumbs. Place in the fridge until needed.

In a medium frypan, heat butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the apples and cook, tossing, until slices have begun to soften and turn slightly translucent, 10-15 minutes (it’s okay if some start to brown, which could happen when using drier, cold-storage apples). Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease base and sides of a 17-cm springform pan and line the base and sides with baking paper. Arrange an oven rack in the centre position.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb soda, and salt to combine. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the apple butter, sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the apple butter mixture. Whisking from the centre of the bowl outward, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet just until you have an evenly mixed batter. Using a large flexible spatula, fold the cooled apples into the batter, leaving any liquid behind in the pan and mixing thoroughly to distribute the apples evenly.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle crumble evenly over the batter, breaking up any pieces larger than a marble. Bake until crumble is browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake slides easily through the apple slices and comes out clean, 1 hour 20 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut around the cake with a knife, then remove the ring. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into slices.

Apple butter, adapted from here.
750g mixed apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (reserve the cores)
½ cup apple juice 
1 tbs lemon juice
55g brown sugar
1 cinnamon quill, 1 star anise and 4 cloves placed in a small spice bag
pinch sea salt

Place apple pieces and cores, apple juice and lemon juice in a large microwave safe bowl. Lightly cover and cook on high for 12-15 minutes or until apples begin to soften and fall apart. Remove from the microwave and discard cores. Blend softened apples in a food processor or use a stick blender and process until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of apple puree.

Place the puree plus brown sugar to taste, along with spices and salt  in a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Gently simmer, stirring regularly to avoid spattering, until apple butter is deep caramel in colour and thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon, about an hour. Remove the spice bag and transfer the apple butter to a jar or airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

As you'd expect from one of Claire's recipes it was absolutely delicious and just perfect for an autumn or winter dessert.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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