Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Dapple Cake with Maple Glaze

Apple Dapple is a well loved heritage cake made with apples and pecans, and glazed with a crunchy brown sugar maple topping.
Apple Dapple is a well loved heritage cake made with apples and pecans, and glazed with a crunchy brown sugar maple topping.

Apple Dapple Cake with Maple Glaze

This is such a tasty and moist apple cake, and you can make it a day ahead, because it gets even better, making it a perfect addition to the holiday table. I first met this cake 30 years ago, though frankly I'm sure it's been around even longer than that, meaning you can count on it being well-tested and reliable too.

Back in the day, when there used to be an actual "telephone" company - Birmingham, Alabama-based South Central Bell employees, both active and retired, through their individual chapters of the Telephone Pioneers of America, put together a community cookbook.

The Mississippi Chapter published their first one calling it Bell's Best, in 1981, and next to my treasured 1973 red Betty Crocker cookbook, the yellow covered Bell's Best became the second cookbook I owned, and the first one I actually purchased for myself as a young bride.

I'd be willing to bet there are a few of you who still own a copy, and maybe even own the Alabama versions of Calling All Cooks.

These basic, no-frills collections, are often the most worn, beaten cookbooks we own, but ones that we all treasure too, because for many of us, they taught our generation and those younger than us, how to cook basic recipes.

For many of our mothers and grandmothers, they provided a full repertoire of written-down recipes, something many of them had not had before, having had to rely mostly on experience in the kitchen and watching their own mothers and grandmothers. Cooks often held on tightly to "secret" family recipes.

By the way, please don't do that. Recipes are meant for sharing!

I'm not sure where the name came from to be honest. Maybe because of its sort of dappled-in color caused by the glazing.  Really, the only thing that sets this recipe apart from a simple fresh apple cake, is that brown sugar glaze, that, by the way, goes hot, onto a hot cake, and left to cool right in the pan.

Outside of that, this cake can be made one of three ways.

Traditionally it's always been in a tube pan.

Apple Dapple Cake prepared in a tube pan with plain glaze, minus the maple.

It can also be made in a Bundt pan, the way I did it today, or even in an oblong 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In the tube and oblong methods, you'll pour the hot glaze right on top of the cake while it's in the pan and let the cake cool right in the pan. For the pan cake, be sure to poke a bunch of holes in the cake to allow the glaze to seep in.

In the Bundt pan though, I remove the cake to avoid it sticking to the crooks and crevices of the pan and then transfer it to a large, flat plate, where I drizzle the glaze all over the top of the hot cake, letting it pool up along the edges and on the inside. Then it's just a matter of letting it soak in.

Apple Dapple Cake made in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Photo used with permission from Teresa T. from our Facebook Family!

Speaking of Bundt pans, I'll also bet there are more than a few of you who also still have one of these Nordic Bundt pans, don't you? Heaven knows they aren't fancy or heavy stainless, nor are they expensive, but that pretty white interior sure produces a beautiful cake.

This one is my Mama's, so Lord knows how old it actually is, but it's a classic that's been around the block, and actually one that is still sold.

The basic old fashioned apple dapple cake included only flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, eggs, oil, pecans and apples, of course. The topping, butter, milk, and brown sugar. The spices and maple flavoring here are my own add-in, so feel free to exclude them if you want to stay more true to the original.

Here's how to make it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with Baker's Joy, or butter and flour well; set aside. Add the sugar, eggs and oil in a large bowl.

Beat that until it's creamy looking, then add the vanilla.

Stick a strainer on your bowl. These things are so handy - it's a great kitchen tool with a lot of uses - you should have one! I strain yogurt through it for home strained Greek style yogurt, use it for sifting powdered sugar over cakes, beignets, and French toast, and it's great for sifting flour together with other ingredients.

Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon if using; sift that into the sugar and egg mixture.

See how smooth the flour is now? No lumps! Sorry about the lighting. Guess my camera had a hiccup.

Stir all of that together.

And then remember you forgot the vanilla earlier, so stir that in if you forgot too.

Peel, core and chop up your apples.

I used Gala this time because I bought a bag of them cheap the other day so that's what I had. Use whatever baking apple you like. Truth is I've baked an apple pie using McIntosh, Red and Golden delicious apples before, because that's what I had on hand.

So even though some folks say you can't, I sure did it, so I say use whatever apple you like! Depending on the variety you choose, you may need more or less sugar, so keep that in mind. For a tarter apple like Granny Smith, you might want to add in a little more sugar.

Add the apples.

And the pecans.

Mix that all together.

It'll be a bit gooey just in case you're wondering.

I thought I would add a few decorative whole pecans to the bottom of the Bundt pan. Notice the "pretty" side is facing down, although I think a pecan is pretty no matter what side you look at personally. And no complaining about the price either, unless you, yourself have cracked a big bag of them yourself to know the labor that goes on behind it. Even commercially that has to be a process, so buy the pecans with a smile and budget elsewhere.

If you also want to do that, use a large spoon, or ice cream scooper to drop some of the batter on top of the pecan.

Do that over each one so that they don't shift when you fill up the bundt pan.

Until you've done the entire circle.

Then scrape the rest of the dough into the pan and level it.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes back clean. Remember all ovens are different, especially mine. Mine is so old I actually have to regulate the thermostat myself with an oven thermometer. Best investment I made for that poor old oven, though I'm hoping for a new oven from Santa this year.

Let the cake rest in pan for 10 minutes. Keep in mind the directions for a pan cake and tube pan cake are different, so if you're using those pans, follow the directions in the recipe notes.

Then loosen around the middle and sides of the pan and turn out onto a serving plate while you make the glaze.

For the glaze, add a stick of butter to a saucepan and melt over low heat. Yes, a stick y'all.

To that add the milk and brown sugar.

Boil for 2-1/2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add in the maple extract.

Drizzle the glaze slowly over the cake letting the glaze pool up inside and outside of the cake.

Allow the cake to cool completely - the longer it sits the more it soaks in the glaze and the better it gets. Use a wide spatula to transfer cake to your storage container or cake stand, and spoon up any excess glaze to drizzle again. The glaze reacts a little differently with this method than it does poured over the cake in the pan, but it creates this crunchy, sugared coating that is just so yummy.

If making in a tube pan, pour the hot topping over hot cake while it is still in the pan. Let set until cold. When completely cold, carefully remove cake from tube pan. If making in 9 x 13 inch baking pan, pour the hot topping over hot cake, let cool completely, and simply cut and serve from the pan.

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Adapted from Bell's Best (1981) Rebecca Sanders, Meridian Council

Posted by on November 14, 2011
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