Thursday, June 12, 2014

Upside Down Apple Cake with Whiskey Soaked Fruit

This recipe is what I would call an American version of the famous French Tarte Tatin.
It comes from Betty Crocker. I've adapted it and added recipes for Sugared Fruit.
I will make this for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This would be a great cake to share at a  Fall Block Party, at a Church Supper, at a Holiday Party.

Parts of this recipe may seem complicated, but I believe that in the end it will make an impressive dessert.

Here's what you'll need:
2 - 8" round cake pans brushed well with my Pan Release Mix. ( equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each and store it in a jar in the refrigerator. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. If you're baking a cake in an intricately designed Bundt Pan, this is the only mix that I recommend for perfect release.
Line the bottom of the pans with a piece of round parchment paper and brush with Pan Release Mix.

Make the sugared Cranberries and Sugared Oranges ahead of time and keep in an airtight  container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days. I recommend this step.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 C sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 C shopped dried apricots
2 tsp grated orange peel
3 TBS Irish Whiskey
3 red apples, unpeeled, quartered and sliced 1/4" thin.
1 box of  Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix.
1 C water
3/4 C  slivered almonds, finely ground.
1/3 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 TBS chopped crystalized ginger

1/4 C apple jelly
2 oz. (from an 8oz. container) Mascarpone Cheese, softened
1/2 C heavy cream
1 TBS sugar

Fresh sugared cranberries and sugared orange slices for garnish ( recipes to follow)

Whiskey Soaked Fruit:
In a medium mixing bowl:
Dried Cranberries
Orange Peel
Irish Whiskey
Mix well and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Line the bottom and sides of each cake pan with overlapping apple slices. Trim slices as necessary to line the sides.

In a large mixing bowl:
Cake Mix
Beat with an electric mixer, on low, until moistened.
Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
Fold in Whiskey soaked fruit by hand.

Gently pour batter , divided equally, into each pan.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes.
Immediately release and invert the cakes onto wire cooling racks over a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Remove the parchment paper from the cake top.
Brush top and sides of the warm cakes with the glaze.

In a small bowl:
Microwave the Apple Jelly for about 30 seconds, stirring half way through.
Brush top and sides of each cake with the glaze.
Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

In a small bowl:
Mascarpone Cheese
Heavy Cream
Beat with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form.

Transfer each cake to individual serving platters and frost the tops only, with the whipped cream
Garnish with Sugared Cranberries and Sugared Oranges. Decorate the top and the base of the cakes with the fruit.

Sugared Cranberries:
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Water
1 C Fresh Cranberries
6 TBS Super Fine Sugar
Cook Sugar and water on low until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat, do not boil.
Fold in berries and pour into a bowl.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain berries in a colander over a bowl.
Place super fine sugar in a shallow dish.
Add berries, roll to coat.
Spread on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in a single layer.
Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Sugared Oranges:

1 Navel Orange (leave peel on)
1/2 C Sugar
Slice 1/4" and cut each slice in half to create a crescent.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals.
Add Oranges and reduce heat.
Gently simmer until Oranges are soft and glazed, about 1 1/2  hours. The larger the saucepan the easier it is to avoid splattering.

Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack over a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Dry overnight at room temperature.

The berries and oranges can be made ahead of time. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature  for up to 2 days.
I recommend doing this to speed up the preparation of the cakes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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