This recipe came from the New York Times Magazine section published on October 8, 1989. My friends were having a baby shower for me the following weekend, and since I love pecans, apple and cinnamon I immediately decided to make it for the party. When I got there, my friend Carol Anne had made it too. Both cakes were delicious variations on the same theme. Since the cake now had a provenance I made it often for occasions, including in the shape of a dinosaur and a pirate for my son's birthday when he was little. It's still a family favorite, and a serious crowd pleaser. I've handed out this recipe many times. It tastes rich but is surpisingly low cal for a cake, until you add the caramel sauce! —rocombo
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans in the workbowl of a food processor and process until fine. Set aside.
Peel, core and quarter the apples and place them in the workbowl of the processor until they are medium coarse shards, about the size of almonds. Set aside.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until blended.
Add the soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix quickly. Add the flour and just blend, then add the apples and the nuts.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9” round cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top springs back when slightly touched with a finger. Cool slightly. The center may sink a bit.
FOR THE HOT CARAMEL SAUCE: To make the caramel sauce, melt the butter, brown sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and condensed milk. Stir again with the whisk. Cool slightly.
TO SERVE: Cut the cake into slices and serve, ladling the caramel sauce over each slice, topped by a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla or butter pecan ice cream. The sauce can be made ahead of time and warmed up.