Sense of Home Kitchen
I read this New York Times article today and was interested to see that the "canning movement" has reached restaurants. This summer while on a motorcycle day trip we ate at the Pickle Factory, a little restaurant in the woods. They not only serve food but have a cellar full of canned goods you can purchase to take home. I resisted getting carried away thanks to the small amount we could actually carry on the motorcycle and the realization that I too can and had canned some of these very foods and had them already waiting for me in my pantry. I agree with chef Gjerde quoted in the article, I go through the trouble of canning my own food because it tastes better, it is as simple as that.
Chefs canning their own food is no small undertaking, I am thinking, if I need to put up 33 quarts of tomatoes and 30 quarts of chicken stock to see the two of us, plus the occasional guest, through to the next season, how much canning must a restaurant have to do?! I know how many hours I spent filling our pressure canner, how would a busy restaurant kitchen ever find the time, not to mention the space? I am happy to see that they do though, and the "tomato honey" at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore has me intrigued and thinking about the possibilities of next summer's canning. It does not sound as though the restaurants in the article have their own garden, but I know the Pickle Factory in Vergas, Minnesota tends their own, we saw it as we drove in, and it is big.
I could have used the apples I had canned for this recipe and I will next time, but as I wrote in an earlier post I am trying to stick close to recipes to learn from them and I wanted to see how this recipe would turn out with fresh apples first, since not everyone cans their own apples. I changed this recipe in only minor ways, a couple of the ingredients in the cake have been changed, adding a little more flavor. The end result is company worthy, plus my husband declared the cake very good, so of course it is.
Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2007~
Serves 6 - 8
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 or 5 large Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vanilla Ice Cream
Butter a 12-inch, well-seasoned, cast iron skillet.
Combine sugar and water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until color is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a pastry brush dipped into water to dissolve the sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan, about 8 minutes. Working quickly, pour the hot caramel into the prepared cast iron skillet. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apple wedges and sauté until just tender. Arrange apple wedges in bottom of caramel-lined cast iron skillet.
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Cream butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl, add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Gradually stir in flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating the two.
Spoon batter over apples in cast iron skillet, smoothing to cover.
Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes until the cake is a light golden around the edges and a tester comes out clean. Quickly run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and immediately invert the cake onto a plate. The caramel hardens quickly so this needs to be done as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!