Fall Preview - Apple Skillet Cake

While the sun is still sunny and the beach has yet to be closed down for the season, a trip to the farmer's market does highlight the fact that weird weather this year has things on a bit of a fast-forward.  It's early (well, mid) August.  Peaches are winding down and apples are already available.  Beyond just the early transparent varieties.  So I grabbed a 1/2 peck of Paula Reds (don't get me started on Honey Crisps, marketing, and the terroir of apples), and went hunting for a good recipe - whist the Empress of Cute ate a couple freshly sliced.

I went wandering through some of the recent additions to my collection of vintage cookbooks - liberated from my mother, who is amused by my new "hobby."  These included a copy of the Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook from the 8th contest - which would put it around 1956 (the cover is gone).  There were so excellent choices all around, but I decided to make you this:

Apple Skillet Cake was the 3rd Prize Winner in the Junior category.  It's still a keeper.  See?

Apple Skillet Cake

3 Tbsp butter
1-1/3 c. packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 c. peeled baking apples, thinly sliced
1-1/2 c. Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP blend OR
1/4 c. millet flour
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
1/2 c. white rice flour
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. shortening
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 10" skillet (OK, mine was 12" - it makes for a thinner cake, but still works), melt the butter.  Stir in 2/3 c. brown sugar and cinnamon.  Arrange the apples in the sugar mixture.
In a bowl, mix flour, salt, soda, and xanthan gum.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together shortening and white sugar.  Add remaining 2/3 c. brown sugar in two additions.  Cream thoroughly.  Add egg yolks and vanilla. 
Alternately add dry ingredients and evaporated milk in several additions.  Beat on medium until smooth.  Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff but no dry.
Fold egg whites into batter.  Pour into skillet over apples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
De-pan immediately.  (Small confession:  About 10 minutes before the cake was done, I realized I didn't have a big enough pan to hold it.  So I unmolded mine onto a cutting board covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
This is an oldie, but a goodie.  The cinnamon was my edition.  I omitted the raisins, but you could include some if you like.  It's begs for a little whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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