Caramel Apple Cake

As much as I love the warm summers in Wisconsin, I really do enjoy the smells and sights of Autumn here just as much. The trees are beautiful with all their red, orange and yellow leaves slowly falling off the trees.  I also start craving all the fall goodies that I save for this time of year. We have another property on the other side of town that has about a dozen apple and pear trees.  I have been busy making apple pies, apple crisps, applesauce and this delectable little dessert item here that I couldn’t wait to share with you. Be prepared that I may be sharing quite of few apple recipes and other fall type items as well as the weeks go on. This recipe is a bit tedious, but delicious. I hope you enjoy. CARAMEL APPLE CAKECaramel Apple Cake – Serves 8                     Need a 9×3 cake pan.       Preheat oven 350 degrees.  For the caramel and the apples – 4 TB butter, 3 C sugar, 5 TB light corn syrup, 1 C heavy cream and 4 Lg. golden delicious apples. For the batter – 3 C flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 C sour cream, 1/3 C orange juice, 1 TB vanilla extract, 1 stick of butter (softened), 1 1/2 C sugar and 3 large eggs   Butter a 9×3 round cake pan. IT HAS TO BE 3″  DEEP TO HOLD EVERYTHING! Make the caramel by cooking the sugar and corn syrup in a large skillet over med-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is dark amber in color. (Approx. 8-10 min).  Reduce heat to med and CAREFULLY add the cream and 4 TB butter (IT WILL SPLATTER) and cook, stirring until combined. Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 C caramel into a glass measuring cup for later. Pour the remaining caramel into the prepared pan and set aside until set (about 30 min.) Cut 3 apples (skin on) into quarters and cut out the cores. Arrange the pieces skin side down in the pan overlapping slightly to form a ring. Leave about 1/2″ space around the outside. Save any pieces that don’t fit for later.  Halve the remaining whole apple crosswise. Scoop out the seeds, leaving the stem on the top half. Chop the bottom and any of the leftover quartered apples into pieces. Set aside. Arrange the apple top, stem-side down, in the center of the pan making it fit. Make the batter. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a med. bowl. Whisk the sour cream, orange juice and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugar on med-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 min. Crack the eggs one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until creamy. Turn mixture to low and add half of the sour cream mixture and then half of the flour mixture. Continue doing this until done. Spread the batter over the apples in the pan and top with the chopped apples. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes until the middles bounces back. Its okay if top gets a little dark. Cool in the pan completely! Once cool, bring 1″ of water to a simmer in a skillet wide enough to hold the cake pan. Run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan  and then rest the pan in the water to soften the caramel, about 5 minutes or so. Remove the pan and pat dry. Invert a plate on top of the cake and then flip over the cake on the plate. You may have to wiggle the pan off. Soften the reserved caramel in the microwave about 2 min. and drizzle the cake with some of the caramel. Slice and serve as soon as you can as the caramel with harden up.