This week's Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lynne of Honey Muffin: double apple bundt cake. When I brought home 16 pounds of apples this weekend, part of my motivation was knowing that we had several apple recipes on tap for TWD in the month of October. I got to use my apples in a few different ways with this cake. It's called a "double" apple cake because it includes apple butter as well as grated apples. Though Dorie calls for store-bought apple butter, I figured it would be a shame not to make my own when I had so many apples on hand. I combined bits and pieces from several recipes to make my apple butter, but it's really as simple as first making applesauce and then reducing it even further until it thickens and becomes darker in color. I peeled, cored and chopped 5 Macintosh apples, added some fall spices (a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, ginger, cloves), some apple cider, sugar and a bit of lemon juice and then let it all cook in a medium saucepan. Once it turned to applesauce, I mashed any large bits of apple remaining and then lowered the heat and let it keep going. The only real trick once you get to this point is to stir the mixture frequently - otherwise, you run the risk of scorching. Because I made such a small batch (I wound up with just over 1/2 cup of apple butter), my cooking time was about 2 hours total. The apple butter was sweet, spicy and would be perfect as a spread on so many different things. (The only shot I got of my apple butter was at midnight in my kitchen, so it's not great, but is available here.)
Once I had the apple butter, I got to work on the cake. Thanks to a tip from Kayte, I knew this recipe would halve and fit perfectly in my mini bundt pan, so that's the route I took. It's a quick one to put together and the batter was delicious. I used a Macintosh for the grated apple component and included the raisins and walnuts Dorie suggests in the recipe. These mini bundt cakes bake up quickly - I've found they generally need about 20-25 minutes for most recipes - this one was 22 minutes or so. I wrapped my cakes in plastic and let them sit overnight so the flavors could meld. The next day, I gave 5 of the mini bundts to Shane's dad and kept one for myself so I could try it. I made the glaze from the book (a combination of confectioners' sugar and lemon juice) for my little cake only.
The cakes are moist and full of apple flavor - a really fun fall treat to be sure. I heard that Shane's dad really liked them a lot too! I sort of had to pick around the walnuts in mine since I don't like them and it proved tricky so next time I'll just leave them out. While I don't think the glaze is at all necessary on the cake, I did enjoy the freshness the lemon juice added. Big thanks to Lynne for hosting this week! You can find the recipe for the apple bundt cake on her blog here or on pages 184-185 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.