Recipe Flash: Apple Crumb Coffee Cake
Full Breakfast Menu: Frittata with Asparagus, Scallion, and Fontina; Orange Wedges; Hot Tea
As I explained in my cupcake post the other day, I’ve become a really big fan of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new cake book. Everything I’ve made from it has turned out beautifully–in other words, the reason for my affection is quite simple.
For a morning meeting having to do with very cool things to come for the blog, I toted this cake to Phoebe’s. I don’t have a container big enough to carry things like cake (Christmas gift, anyone?), and so I left it in the pan, covered it with foil, and loaded it, still warm, into my strong Sea Bag, which, the more I need to carry large amounts of food around town, the more it becomes the object of my obsession.
I changed the recipe slightly–nervously–using applesauce in place of sour cream. I told myself it was for heightened apple flavor, but really it was all I had in my fridge. It’s a cake that is great fun to cut into because of the surprise layer of apples in the middle, and it is a great cake to eat with morning coffee–or tea, which is all that Phoebe’s pantry supplied.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Apple Crumb Coffee Cake
Makes 1 cake
Adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes
For the crumb topping:
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cake:
1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
First, make the crumb topping and filling: Combine the nuts, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop, then remove about 1/2 cup and set aside. Add the flour and butter to the processor and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Refrigerate while making the cake batter.
Make the cake: Combine the apple and lemon juice. Toss to coat and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, 3 tablespoons of applesauce, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add both the softened butter and the rest of the applesauce and mix for about a minute and a half, until the dry ingredients are really well absorbed. Add the egg mixture in two parts, beating for a minute in between. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix once more.
Scrape most of the batter (about 2/3) into a 9″ cake pan prepared with a circle of parchment at the bottom and buttered on both sides and bottom. Sprinkle the batter with the 1/2 cup of reserved nuts/sugar.
Top with overlapping apple slices. Spread the remaining batter across the top.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Then, remove the crumb topping from the fridge. Sprinkle it over the top of the cake, pinching the crumbs to form a variety of sizes. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides and cool completely on a rack.