Apple & Cinnamon Pound Cake With Caramel Icing


For the most part, this blog is dedicated to highlighting recipes that are nutritious and healthy, using locally produced ingredients when available, and making the most of a CSA share.  Admittedly, the term "healthy" is subjective, since we all have bodies that respond somewhat uniquely to things like fats, sugars, glutens, starches and seasonings. But there's no shame in having a slice of delicious, home-made cake once in a while, right?  When I saw the crisp green apples in my box this week, I knew a celebration was in order. This pound cake blends the best of late-summer and early-fall flavors.  Local apples are ready for harvest, bringing on the cravings for caramel apples and apple pie.  Swirled together in the form of a rich and creamy pound cake, this will steal the show at your next gathering. Ingredients: 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 1 Tbs baking powder A pinch of salt 2 tsp cinnamon

1 large crisp cooking apple, peeled & diced 1 tsp lemon juice dash of cinnamon

4 sticks of unsalted butter (1 lb), softened to room temperature 1 3/4 cups of sugar 5 large farm fresh eggs, separated 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp almond extract 1 cup whole-milk buttermilk

Caramel Icing: (can double the icing quantity, depending on how much you like) 1 stick of butter 1/2 cup dark or light brown sugar 3 Tbs milk

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.  In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together the diced apples, lemon juice, and dash of cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites.  Set aside. In a large bowl with a hand-mixer or in a stand-mixer, beat the softened butter, then add the remaining one cup of sugar slowly and beat for 3-5 minutes, or until it is fairly fluffy in texture.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating one minute with each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the vanilla, almond and buttermilk. Add the flour mixture and blend until fairly smooth.  Gently fold in the egg whites. Fill the bundt pan with 1/2 of the cake batter.  With the back of a spoon, make a shallow well in the batter. Spoon the apple layer into the pan, trying to keep the apples from touching the sides of the pan.  Cover the apples with the remaining cake batter, and spread it evenly into the pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the icing.  Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat while stirring gently.  Add the milk and continue to stir until it boils again. Continue stirring for about ten to fifteen more minutes.  The caramel will begin to thicken.  The total cooking/stirring time is about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool. Stir until smooth before pouring on the cake.

When the cake is done, the exposed part will be cracked and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  To remove from the bundt pan, place a plate or cake platter over the top. While holding them together, turn the pan upside-down, (so the curved part of the cake is pointing up) and the plate is resting on a flat surface.  Slowly remove the pan from the cake by lifting it straight up.  When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the caramel icing over the top.  Slice and serve.