A few weeks ago, some dear friends of ours bought their first home. In the time between then and now, our area experienced an earthquake, a hurricane, and some massive flooding. Luckily, their new house has withstood all that nature could throw at it, and they're safely back home to settle in.
As we were going to visit for the first time and give them a little housewarming, I knew that they had already been through a lot. I'm of the opinion that it's bad luck to visit someone's new house and not bring food. Something about good luck and best wishes and prosperity and happiness and who knows what else. Either way, this seemed like a good opportunity for cake.
I don't usually make cakes, as any casual reader of this blog can tell you. To make an entire cake for hubby and me seems like overkill, so I really need a special occasion that involved a lot of people to even get up the excitement to try. Also, cake itself just isn't terribly exciting to me. My entire life I've viewed cake as a mere vehicle for icing. Even the best, most moist homemade cake seems a little blah. And don't even get me started on all the birthday parties where I've had to suffer through dry, crumbly store bought cake with hydrogenated oil "icing". For my birthdays, I always request pie or cheesecake or brownies or something else with some character. Cake just doesn't trip my trigger like other desserts.
|Oooey gooey goodness...|
This concoction is the perfect fall dessert for any occasion, special or everyday. It's fruity and autumn-y, with a moist cornmeal cake base. Plus, it's super easy to make, requires no fancy equipment and since you use only the skillet for the topping and the baking, it's easy clean up.
Not to mention it's delicious! So find some friends to wish good luck and bake them a skillet cake!
Caramel Apple Skillet Cake
(from Better Homes & Gardens 2011 Cookbook Supplement)
6 tablespoons butter
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Time and temperature: 350 for 30 minutes
Preheat your oven to 350. In a 10 inch oven going skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add apples, cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet. In the same skillet, combine remaining butter and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter melts. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Sprinkle with pecans and cranberries. Arrange apple slices on top; set aside.
In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl combine cornmeal, water and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Pour over apples. Bake in the skillet for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm and celebrate good friends. Vanilla ice cream would be an added bonus!