Upside-Down Apple Cake with Walnut and Sage

By • January 6, 2012 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: This is what popped into my head when the contest was announced. Unfortunately I'm not a cake girl. Enter Shirley Corriher's CookWise (a well timed Christmas present). After three tries, some very wise caramel advice from hardlikearmour (thank you, friend!!), I think I've created my first cake. gingerroot

Serves 6-8

For Apple, Walnut, Sage & Caramel

  • 1 crisp, sweet, slightly tart apple, such as a Braeburn
  • 5 tablespoons walnuts
  • 5 sage leaves, washed and dried (approx. 2 inch)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • unsalted butter for greasing the pan

For the Cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a parchment round and butter the top of the paper.
  2. Halve and core the apple. Cut apple into 1/4 inch slices, as uniform as possible. Lay apple slices in your prepared pan, slightly overlapping. Arrange last pieces as desired in center.
  3. In a mini-prep processor, pulse 2 T of walnuts and sage leaves until walnuts are a mixture of fine pieces with chunks, and the sage is finely chopped. Add remaining walnuts and pulse a few more times. You want the walnuts to be varied in texture. Spoon walnut sage mixture over apples.
  4. Make caramel by putting water and squeeze of lemon (1/4 t) into saucepan. Mound sugar in the middle. Cover and bring mixture to a boil, swirling pan occasionally. Once sugar dissolves, mixture will bubble vigorously. After about 10 minutes, mixture should be fragrant and amber. Remove from heat and whisk in salted butter, 1 T at a time (be careful, mixture will be bubbling!). Carefully pour caramel over prepared apples. Allow to cool.
  5. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk cake flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  6. Combine milk, crème fraiche and vanilla in a small bowl (I used my one cup measure). Set aside.
  7. Using a hand mixer, cream butter for 3 minutes, scraping down sides with spatula as necessary. Add sugar all at once and continue to mix and scrape, for another 3 minutes. Add whole eggs, one at a time, mixing in between. Continue to mix and scrape for another minute.
  8. Alternating between the flour mixture and the milk mixture, add to batter in three additions, mixing on low after each. Be careful to only mix until blended - do not over mix.
  9. With clean beaters, whip egg white until you have soft peaks. Fold into batter in two additions. Pour batter into cake pan, smoothing evenly with a spatula. Bake until fragrant, golden brown and when poked with a tester it comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  10. Allow cake to cool before inverting onto a serving plate. Enjoy!
  11. Note: Cake may be made one day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
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5 months ago lapadia

Delicious, how did I miss this?

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4 months ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Linda!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Yum, this sounds delicious gingerroot.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, Midge! Belated Happy New Year wishes!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wonderful gingerroot, sounds absolutely delicious! Congrats on the great outcome.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, sdebrango!

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over 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I would love a slice of this right now with my morning coffee!!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, mrslarkin! I'll trade you a slice for one of your martinis!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds scrumptious! Glad you were able to get it to your liking.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, hardlikearmour! Your advice was spot on, you are definitely the Queen of caramel!

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over 2 years ago Fairmount_market

I love how your vision became a reality with some good advice and experimentation along the way. This sounds delicious.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, Fairmount_market! I was determined to make it come out the way I wanted.

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

NOTE: Step 7 should be in a large stainless steel bowl. Step 9 should be in a separate, clean stainless steel bowl. Apologies for the omission.