Last week I was invited to a Breakfast-for-Dinner Party by friends with whom I bonded over a cadaver…we all took and/or taught Gross Anatomy together. You can only imagine what dinner (or Breakfast-for-Dinner) conversation must be like. One of the hosts gave me a rough list of what other people were bringing and there was a glaring absence of potatoes. I decided to bring hash browns (recipe to come), an integral component of any breakfast. However, I am known among this lovely group of people not only for my rather unusual dissection methods but also for my baking. So, a coffee cake seemed like the clear choice for this get together. I made this Applesauce Coffee Cake once before for a baby shower brunch, and it was a huge hit!
This recipe comes from Martha Stewart. Despite what some people make think of good ol’ Martha this woman can bake. I used to follow her recipes to an OCD level; however, as I have gotten more comfortable with my own skills, I have taken more liberties. Instead of store bought applesauce, I make my own which also comes from a Martha Stewart recipe that I have changed a good deal. Also, if you make your own applesauce for the recipe you can leave it a bit chunkier so you get nice apple chunks in the cake. I add more applesauce than called for and put in some more spice as well. Again, this coffee cake turned out extremely well (despite my oven randomly turning off for no reason halfway through the baking process). It is an incredibly moist, not-too-sweet cake that has a lovely crunchy topping.
Applesauce Coffee Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart
3 lbs apples (I just get the 3 lbs bag of little green apples – Granny Smith) – peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
4 heaping tablespoons sugar
¾ cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Butter or Vegetable-oil cooking spray to grease pan
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 heaping cups or applesauce (homemade or store-bought)
1 apple (your choice in type – I usedFuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
To Toast Pecans:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
2. Lay pecan out on a cookie sheet
3. Bake in oven for 10 minutes
4. Let cool
5. Chop them up
1. Put the chopped up apples in a large pot, add cinnamon stick, cinnamon, ground ginger, water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Once at a boil, reduce temperature to medium low.
3. Cook for about 20 minutes until all the apples are tender and mushy. You can mash the apples down more if you like, but I prefer to leave yummy apple chunks.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Coat a 10-inch angel-food-cake pan with butter or cooking spray; set aside.
3. Make crumb topping: Stir together 4 tablespoons butter, the dark-brown sugar, oats, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans; set aside.
4. Make batter: Sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, ground ginger, remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
5. Put 1 stick of butter, the granulated sugar, and light-brown sugar in the bowl and mix until smooth. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in applesauce and then flour mixture. Stir in remaining cup of nuts.
6. Pour batter into oiled pan; sprinkle reserved crumb topping over batter. Lay sliced apples on top, tucking some into batter.
7. Bake until a cake tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
Enjoy your Breakfast…or Dinner…or Breakfast-for-Dinner!