Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Apple Slump

Summer fruits are but a memory: juicy, ripe peaches and nectarines; plump, sweet strawberries and blueberries. Much of the "summer" produce now appearing on grocery store shelves is shipped south of the equator, and that includes grapes. 

Let's face it. This is the season of apples and citrus. And right now, produce bins are overflowing with apples: Honeycrisp, Jazz, Fuji, Braeburn, Macintosh, Red and Gold Delicious. We have a way to go before local fruits find their way into our kitchen and back into our hearts. But for now, I'll take this apple cake anytime of the year!

This is an adaptation from my 4-Peach Cobbler. I subbed apples for the peaches. Use a firm tart apple, such as Jazz, which will stand up to the wonderful combination of whiskey, cinnamon and allspice. You don't want a soft apple that will turn to mush.

It's important to use the correct pan for this recipe. I use a glass Pyrex 10 x 7 x 2 dish. Because of the baking powder, this cake has a nice rise to it, so you don't want something shallow.

Is it a cake? A cobbler? A slump? I've settled for 'slump' since the apples will fall or slump to the bottom as the cake batter rises to the top. You could sub rum for the whiskey, or just water. I've made this several times now and I'm hooked. Unlike Quick Apple Cake, this recipe has no eggs.

Apple Filling

  • 2-and-one-half apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 cup whiskey
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 allspice berries, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • several grates of fresh nutmeg/a tiny pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you your apples are bland (1-2 teaspoons)


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

A melon baller makes easy work of "coring" an apple that has been cut in half.

Cut each half-apple into fourths and then cut them in half so you have nice-sized chunks.  Keep a few slices whole. Place all ingredients in a medium pan and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes just until the apples begin to soften, release their juices, and begin to make a "syrup." If necessary, add a bit more liquid/butter. In the meantime . . .

The apple chunks are tender soft and have made a lovely syrup.

Place the stick of butter into the 10 x 7 x 2 pan and pre-heat oven to 400 F. degrees. Allow the butter to melt and to begin to brown a bit . . . meantime . . .

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, milk, vanilla and a dash of table salt until smooth.

Remove dish from oven. Pour the batter into the hot dish with the melted butter. Now evenly spoon the apple mixture across the top. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Return to oven and bake at 400 F for about 25 minutes or until the top is set. Allow to cool before cutting/serving. This cake improves with age, but it's rare to have it last over one day. If desired, serve with a bit of whipped cream.

Notes: Use whatever spices you wish. Always go easy on cloves since they are overpowering. I use about less than one tablespoon baking powder (which is about 3 teaspoons). Use less if your baking powder is fresh. You should always keep it in the freezer. One could, of course, add nut meats, such as walnuts to the apples. Or dried fruit, such as raisins or cranberries.