Ah and so it begins. The cold is descending upon us, smothering our dreams of spaghetti straps and tan lines with parkas and functional scarves. Many are fearful this means the end of our fun for the year. From now on, we must stay inside, forever apart and wrapped in blankets.
I, being from New England, strongly disagree with this sentiment. I am excited to welcome in fall in the next few weeks and then winter in the coming months. I am a winter baby and I intend to enjoy the heck out of tights, woolen sweaters, and wintery baked goods.
So, to welcome to new season and to prepare myself for the onslaught of baking that will soon be upon me, I made an apple spiced cake. It was vaguely reminiscent of the apple cakes my grandmother always used to have freshly made, but with a lot more bourbon. Although it does remind me to get Gummy’s apple cake recipe from her in short order…
Persephone, being a teetotaler, regarded my cake with disdain, preferring the catnip in her scratch lounge. But then again, she is the goddess of spring and has a certain distaste for fall weather.
It’s a good cake and easy to make to boot. If you’ve got some extra bourbon on hand and want to try this baby, I highly recommend it.
Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake
Adapted from Melissa Clark for the NYTimes
2 sticks unsalted butter 225 grams, at room temperature, plus more to grease pan
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 315 grams, plus more to dust the pan
3 tablespoons (30 grams) plus 1/2 cup (80 grams) bourbon or rye whiskey
½ cup (90 grams) candied ginger, chopped
1 ¾ cup (330 grams) light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon finely gratedlemon zest
2 medium Granny Smith applesabout a pound, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
1 cup (120 grams) finely chopped, toasted pecans
½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. If you haven’t toasted your pecans yet, now is a good time to do so.
Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons bourbon and the candied ginger. Let stand 10 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar and remaining butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes, scraping once. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated and the batter is smooth and glossy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and vanilla. Pour bourbon from the ginger mixture (reserve ginger) in with the sour cream mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in zest.
With the mixer on medium speed, add half the dry mixture, then all of the wet mixture, and the rest of the dry mixture until fully incorporated. Fold in the ginger, apples and pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cool in the pan 20 minutes, then run a paring knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake, but do not remove from the pan.
While the cake cools, combine the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup whiskey in a small saucepan. Over low heat, gently stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the lemon juice and take off the heat.
While the cake cools, make 10 slits on top with a paring knife and pour half the bourbon-sugar mixture on the still-warm cake. When the cake is fully cool, flip it and pour the rest of the glaze on the other side. Be sure to keep the cake on a plate when pouring over the syrup, so any syrup that falls off will be still be soaked into the cake.
The cake will keep well wrapped, at room temperature, for about a week.