Apple Ginger Pudding Cake

I’ve been really excited to share this recipe with you, for the obvious reason that it’s just ridiculously delicious, but everywhere I look, whether it’s food magazines, blogs or whatever, it’s apple this and apple that, and I’m afraid that here we are just getting started into apple season and you might already be burnt out and one more apple recipe is going to just send you off somewhere else where the conversation doesn’t include the baking of winesaps and jonogolds.

I do think that’s the longest sentence I’ve ever written. 

But the thing is, I have two giant bags of apples from the Kimmel Orchards (yes, a mix of winesaps and jonogolds) and several stellar apple recipes I want to share with you, and it won’t do that I’m already worried that you’re over the whole “it’s fall, let’s cook with apples” thing.

So if you are on apple overload, just hang in there with me on this one.  I think it really is rather special.  When I first came across the recipe in the SF Chronicle, I was mildly interested… OK, it sounds good, another gingerbready apple thing, but then I got down to the last part of the recipe where it says to spoon the pudding into bowls, and I just stopped right there.  Goosebumps.  I am a complete and total sucker for the word pudding, and anytime a dessert recipe asks you to spoon said confection into a bowl, I’m in! (Of course, for the above photo, I did sort of slice it on a plate so you could see the layers, but this is very spoon-able, believe me).

So, of course, this was one of the first things I wanted to make with my beautiful apples, and, oh dear, was it ever a wonderful fulfillment of my pudding fantasy.  Moist, rich, dark and apple-y, and with a dollop of whipped cream, well, I think you get the idea.

Hopefully, you are like me and can’t possibly get enough apple-ness into your fall diet.  If that’s the case, then you may want to give this one a spin.  Heavenly, I tell you.

Apple Ginger Pudding Cake

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from Flo Braker via the SF Chronicle
I've noted my changes to this recipe in italics

INGREDIENTS:
Apple Compote:
3-4 medium-sized Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks or slices to yield 4 cups (I used jonogolds and winesaps)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean (optional, I used it, but couldn’t really detect the vanilla)

Batter:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (I used golden cane syrup)
*4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (I used 1 tsp ground ginger)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup water

Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup

*Note:  I'm not a big fan of the strong flavor of fresh ginger in desserts, so opted to used powdered ginger here.  But if you like the flavor of fresh ginger, go ahead and use it, but 4 teaspoons seems like a lot to me and it might overpower the other flavors.

INSTRUCTIONS: Apple compote: (you really must use a good cooking apple so this does not turn mushy).  Combine the apples, sugar, water and vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the apple chunks are tender, about 10 minutes. Resist stirring or smashing the apple pieces. You don't want applesauce. Some of the water will evaporate, but if the mixture is dry add an additional tablespoon or two of water.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the apple mixture. Discard the bean.  Pour the mixture into a 9-inch square ungreased baking pan, spreading it evenly in the pan. Set aside to cool. (As mentioned above, I did this, but the vanilla was largely unnoticeable in the end).

Batter: Adjust rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350°.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper; set aside.

Pour the molasses and corn syrup into a large bowl. Add the ginger, brown sugar and oil; stir to blend. Add the egg; stir to combine. Using a whisk, gradually stir in one quarter of the flour mixture. Then whisk in one third of the water, blending well. Repeat, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth after each addition. Pour the batter over the apple mixture in the baking pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top springs back slightly when lightly touched in the center.  (Do not overbake so this will be moist and pudding-y).  Place the cake pan on a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.(Definitely warm!)

Topping: Lightly whip the cream with the maple syrup. (I didn't use the maple syrup)

Spoon the pudding cake into bowls and top with a dollop of the whipped cream.

Serves 10