(Please forgive the way this picture came out....don't have any decent ones of this cake to post and this recipe is worth posting!)
As you can tell I still have a ton of apples here. I am in the process, believe it or not, of making an apple tart while I am posting this apple cake. So there will be more apple recipes in the near future!!! I don't know where this recipe came from since it has been photocopied with no name of a book or magazine. I am assuming it is from a magazine or newspaper. My husband found this a while ago and gave it to me to try. It is really, really good. Good enough that it is worth the trouble to make it. This is a little more time consuming than some other recipes since you have to cook the apples first and then you have to remember to layer them onto the batter after 15 minutes of cooking and then cook another 15 minute and layer the topping. The end result is worth the time it takes. If you do decide to try this, I have to say that I baked this at least 15 to 20 more minutes than what the recipe suggests. So keep an eye on it and don't worry if it is taking longer than what the recipe states.
For the apples -
4 or 5 medium cooking apples. I used Fuji. I find they really work well.
Juice of half a medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate (I used 2 tablespoons orange juice and it worked fine)
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the topping
1 cup flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
For the cake
18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup low fat or whole buttermilk (I used 3/4 whole milk with 1 1/2 tbs vinegar)
For the apples: Peel and core the apples and cut into 1/2 inch dice. Toss them in a large bowl with the lemon juice and orange juice concentrate until they are evenly coated, then add the cinnamon and sugar, tossing until well incorporated. Melt the butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the apple mixture; increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the apples begin to caramelize yet are not too soft. Remove them from the heat and let them cool. (If the apples have released a lot of liquid, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl, then boil the pan juices to reduce them until they are thick and syrupy. Combine with the apples to cool.)
For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Use 2 forks, a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the dry mixture, forming a crumbly topping; set aside.
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with a little butter. Combine the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium high speed and beat for 2 minutes, until well incorporated. Reduce the speed to add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaing 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar in a separate bowl or on a sheet of wax paper. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate additions of the flour mixture and buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and spread the carmelized apple mixture in a single layer over the entire cake layer. Then sprinkle half of the topping over the apples. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle remaining topping evenly over the cake. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.