|Lady Alice, picture courtesy of Rainier Fruit|
I received some major goodies in the mail recently: Lady Alice apples from Rainier Fruit. This is a new apple that appeared spontaneously. They are not completely sure of its genetic makeup, there may be some golden delicious in there but beyond that it’s an unknown. What is known is that these apples are quite good. Rose-colored skin with some yellow streaks, and firm, yellow-tinged flesh that doesn’t brown quickly once cut. I enjoyed them as eating apples and I put them to the baking test and made an experimental "upside down-ish gluten-free apple spice cake".
I'd say this experiment turned out pretty well. The cake was the spice cake mix from Namaste Foods. (Namaste mixes are free from: wheat, gluten, corn, soy, potato, dairy, casein, tree nuts or peanuts). The batter comes together in a snap and made enough for six cupcakes and one 13x9 square pan cake. I cored and peeled the apples, cutting them into slices to arrange on the bottom and then cut up a few to put throughout but basically that was all of the work. I adapted a Betty Crocker recipe and presto, change-o – delicious cake.
Here’s what I liked especially about the Lady Alice apples: they kept their yellow toned flesh i.e. didn’t get brown or mushy during baking and they kept some bite to them; they were firm although cooked, which all testers (ahem, me and BF) loved.
It was so easy, I hope you try this at home with some Lady Alice apples or any fruit of your choosing. (Flo Fabricant of the New York Times also loved this apple!)
|I was trying to be dainty but cutting up a corner into smaller pieces. I ate them both anyway.|
Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake
(Adapted from Betty Crocker)
1/2 cup butter (I use organic)
2/3 cup packed raw brown sugar (I use organic)
1 lb Lady Alice apples, cored & peeled and sliced into half moons. (One pound of apples is approximately 2-3 apples.)
1 bag Namaste Foods Spice Cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box. (I use olive oil and organic eggs.)
Heat oven to 350°F.
Version 1 of caramelized apples: In 13x9-inch pan, melt butter and brown sugar in oven for three minutes or so. Lay sliced apples in pan.
Version 2 of caramelized apples: In a non-reactive saucepan, heat butter and sugar. Added sliced apples, and cook on low until butter/sugar is thickened and caramely and apples are cooked down, softened and also caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
Mix cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Add apples to bottom of pan if you made Version 2 or pour batter over apples already in pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack. Place heatproof serving plate upside down on pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Serve cake warm. Or cold. Or at room temperature. It'll be gone fast, beware.