Come November, pumpkin takes centerstage on dessert plates far and wide. I, personally, like pumpkin just fine. But one of my sisters is not a fan.
So, when it's my turn to provide the dessert for a November women's group meeting, I buck the trend and turn away from pumpkin. Instead, my PEO sisters and their guests got Apple Sundae Cake with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce this week.
While I like pumpkin, I absolutely love Jonathan apples. Just like the ducks and geese who fly in for a momentary visit to our region each fall, the Jonathan apples return to the produce aisle each autumn. I buy them two bags at a time because you just never know when they will again fly from the store shelves.
I've made this Apple Sundae Cake for years and have always topped it with ice cream and caramel sauce. But this year, I found a new recipe for sauce made with apple cider. It gives it even more fall flavor. I topped the dessert with Blue Bunny's seasonal ice cream, Cinnamon Apple Pie, but you can also choose vanilla, butter brickle, caramel swirl ... you get the idea.
It got good reviews at PEO. Hope it gets good reviews at your table, too!
Apple Sundae Cake
Adapted from the kitchen of Lori Fiscus5 cups chopped apples (I prefer Jonathan or McIntosh)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Caramel Sauce (see below)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chopped apples, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon, mixing well. Set aside for 10 minutes. Stir oil, eggs and vanilla into apples, mixing well. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl, mixing well. Stir in pecans. Add to apple mixture, mixing until well combined. Batter will be stiff.
Spread in lightly greased 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake 45-55 minutes (depending on your oven) or until it tests done.
Serve with ice cream and caramel sauce.
Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
From Cookies and Cups blog1 cup apple cider
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, cut into cubes (room temperature)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a heavy-bottomed cooking pot, heat apple cider over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Continue to boil cider for 12 to 13 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring only occasionally.
Add in the sugar, butter, cream, cinnamon and salt and stir until combined. Bring the mixture back to a boil and boil for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Allow the sauce to cool slightly before using. (When serving for a ladies' group or holiday gathering, I like to heat up the sauce in a small crock pot.) If you're at a location where you can warm the cake, that's great. But having the warm sauce to spoon over the cake warms each serving - at least, a little bit!
***Today, I'm linked to Weekend Potluck. Thanks to these hostesses. Check out the recipes that others are sharing: