Apple Honey Upside-Down Cake
MH Foods Executive Chef Scott Miller started making upside-down cakes as a delicious way to use his backyard fruit harvest. As we approach the Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Scott’s inspiration for this version of the classic cake comes from the tradition of serving honey with apple slices, which symbolizes good wishes towards the upcoming sweet new year.
Recipe by Scott Miller. Food styling and photography by Gina Iannitelli.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- 8 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoons mild honey like Acacia Honey from Franca Franzoni
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 Honeycrisp apples
- 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest, finely minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons crystalized ginger like Crystallized Australian Ginger, chopped super fine
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
Use an 8-inch non-stick oven-proof pan or cast-iron skillet. For the sauce, in your pan or skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, the brown sugar and honey on medium-high heat until it begins to bubble, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 1 minute, until it looks bubbly and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
While the oven is preheating, cut the apples into quarters and remove all seeds and core. Slice each quarter into 8 wedges. Arrange the apple wedges, slightly overlapping each piece, in a circular pattern, starting from the center of the pan. They should be arranged directly onto the butter/honey mixture. Continue this pattern until the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Sprinkle lemon zest and ginger over top of fruit.
For the batter, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Using a KitchenAid or hand mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and white sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time until smooth. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
Spread the batter evenly over the fruit and cook on bottom rack of oven for 20 minutes. Rotate pan and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until center of cake feels set. Remove from pan and let it cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Carefully flip onto a plate and let it rest another 5-10 minutes. The cake is best served warm. Serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.