I wanted to let you know that only two recipes will be posted a week. Tuesdays I'll add mine and Carol has kindly agreed to post her fantastic creations on Thursdays .
Virginia Reel Apple Cake
Back in the day, I used to be in the Monday rotation for having the women's craft group from our church meet here at our house. We'd get together to work on projects for the annual church fair. Everyone would bring a their own lunch and the hostess of the day was responsible for making dessert and serving a beverage.
I was always on the lookout for dessert recipes to feed quite a few people. Every time I'd ask Bob for an idea, he'd say "How about Upside-Down Apple Cake? I'd give him a look...you know the one....the "there's no such thing" look. He'd emphatically come back with "Yes there is-my mother used to make one."
I finally got so sick of him INSISTING this cake existed that I called his mother and asked if she had a recipe for an Upside Down Apple Cake? Lo and behold, she did. She told me she used to make it a lot and how good it was.
Come to find out, it was an old Pillsbury recipe. I have a treasured Pillsbury Bake Off Recipe Collection cookbook that I got from my Mom that contains recipes from the first 10 Pillsbury Bake-Offs. We looked to see if the recipe was in there and sure enough-there it was.
The original recipe states to spread the apple topping in a 13x9x2-inch pan that has been well greased on the bottom. Well, I'm always leery of things sticking to the pan, so I always line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper or parchment paper, then give it a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray. I've never lost one slice of the apple topping doing it this way. The other way may work perfectly-I'm just afraid to take the chance.
Trust me when I say-this is one of THE BEST upside down cakes I've ever had. The cake has a beautiful tender crumb and the apple topping adds the perfect crowning touch. Another plus-it uses simple-to-find-at-the-store ingredients that I always have on hand in my kitchen.
The cake isn't fancy-in my book, a dish doesn't have to be. I find many is the time that recipes with the simplest ingredients pack the biggest punch. Taste is what it's all about and this cake is downright delicious. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Heavenly. Served at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream? Equally as good. Even plain-this cake is a winner.
A big thank you to my mother in law Beverly for steering me in the direction of this over the top fantastic and easy to make cake. The only part that wasn't easy? Telling Bob he was right! :)
VIRGINIA REEL APPLE CAKE
(Source: slightly adapted from Pillsbury's Best 1000 Recipes Bake-Off Collection cookbook)
4 c. apples (4-6 apples), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the topping, combine the apples, 1 c. granulated sugar, butter and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with waxed paper or parchment paper, then give the paper a quick spray of nonstick cooking spray. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Set aside.
For the cake batter, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set the mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and 1 c. granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine the milk and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk/vanilla mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
Pour the batter over apples in the pan.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the cake tests done. I check it with a cake tester-if it comes out clean when stuck in the center of the cake-it's cooked through. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a tray or platter. Carefully remove the paper if it comes out of the pan-it will usually lift right off.
Serve the cake warm with whipped cream or ice cream. The cake is also delicious served at room temperature. Makes 12-15 servings.
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