Thursday, November 11, 2010

Old Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue

Topping off a delicious meal was a fantastic fall cake! If you want to try something new this year for Thanksgiving, I'd highly recommend this as an alternative dessert (or an additional one...)  The cake was actually relatively easy to make. The best part was the meringue, I was practically licking the bowl (do not attempt this at home... there are raw eggs in there) and even after it baked, it was perfect- not dusty like some meringues according to N.

The recipe came from Food 52, a neat blog where they have a category every week and users vote on the best recipes. This cake was a winner of the apple cake category. My version is slightly different- fresh grated ginger, dried cranberries, maple syrup, and nutmeg were my additions/substitutions. I also ran out of brown sugar when making the meringue, so the cake had white sugar instead.

Cake and Meringue layers, so pretty and so yummy

Old Fashioned Apple Cake

For the Meringue:
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
For the Cake::

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar + 3 tbsp. pure maple sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large, Granny Smith apples, cored and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 cups spooned and leveled all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the middle level of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x9" baking pan or casserole dish.

To make the meringue, place the egg whites, brown sugar and water in the top of a double boiler. Put enough water in the bottom of the double boiler to touch the bottom of the top pot. Over high heat, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until peaks form, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

For the cake, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy; add egg yolks and blend well. By hand, stir in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, grated apples, walnuts and raisins.

Fold in the flour, blending well but being careful to not overmix.

Spoon batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Spread meringue evenly over the batter. Bake until top is crisp, about 45 minutes. If you serve it while warm, the meringue will crack when you cut it, but that's a good thing. If you want nice, neat uniform slices, serve the cake the next day.

Gorgeous meringue topping, just out of the oven

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