First I caramelized the apples with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I wish you could get a whiff of the smells coming from this skillet. Warm, spicy and oh-so Fall-like. Happy, happy, days.
After the apples had cooled, I grated my frozen shortbread cake dough into the pan and topped it with the apples. Yes, grated. I read somewhere that grating the dough creates a lighter, more delicate crust and it is true. Next time give it a try, you won't be sorry. Just watch those finger-tips!
A layer of Apple Butter...
And the rest of the grated shortbread dough. Note: I used too much dough on the bottom, so the top layer looks a little bare.
And if it wasn't sweet enough I topped the finished cake with cinnamon glaze. Can anyone say sugar coma? But hey, what a way to go.
Caramelized Apple Shortbread Cake
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours pg 208-209 & 408
For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- With an electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar dissolves into the butter.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eat, beating until it is absorbed.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and using a sturdy rubber spatula mix only until it is incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half, pat into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
For the Caramelized Apples:
3 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1/4 - 1/2 cup Apple Butter (optional)
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter, then sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter.
- Cook the butter and sugar for 1 minute or so. You want the sugar to caramelize but not burn.
- Add the sliced apples and spices to the skillet and toss to evenly coat the apples with the spices, and butter/sugar. Cook until they are tender but not soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the apples and buttery liquid to a plate.
- When the dough is frozen solid, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line the bottom and 2 sides of a 9 x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing 2-3 inches to extend over the 2 sides. Lightly butter the parchment paper and non-covered side of the pan.
- Remove one ball of frozen dough and grate into the prepared pan. Distribute evenly.
- Spoon the caramelized apple on top of the bottom layer of dough.
- Cover the caramelized apples with the Apple Butter (optional).
- Grate the other half of the dough on top of the apples.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is lightly golden brown.
- Cool for 20 minutes. Run a blunt knife on the two sides of the cake not covered by parchment paper. Lift the cake from the pan using the parchment paper sides as handles.
- Add a glaze if desired.