This is a dense cake that is great as a fall dessert or as part of a brunch. It is chockfull of apple chunks and pecan pieces. It is very dense, really moist and completely addictive.
This is adapted just a bit from the wonderful recipe in the Silver Palate Cookbook and hte high altitude instructions are based on an elevation of 6500 ft.
1/2 T. unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar (HIGH ALTITUDE: 2 cups LESS 2T.)
3 large or extra large eggs (HIGH ALTITUDE: Use extra large eggs or, if not available, use 3 1/2 large eggs)
2 cups all-purpose flour (HIGH ALTITUDE: Add 3 more T. of flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cloves (optional)
1 t. baking soda (HIGH ALTITUDE: use only 1/2 t. baking powder)
3/4 t. salt (rounded up a little if using kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans: 1 cup for cake, 1/2 cup for decoration
3 medium to large apples (preferably Honeycrisp), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 T. unsalted butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
2 T. brown sugar
6 T. granulated sugar
3 T. Calvados or other apple brandy (or substitute 2 T. brandy and increase cider below to 5 T., or just use 8 T. cider if brandy is not available)
4 T. apple cider (see notes above)
2 T. orange juice
2 T. heavy cream
- Grease a 10 inch round cake pan with the softened butter (1/2 T.).
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (high altitude 350 degrees)
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the all-purpose flour with the spices then add the baking soda, salt, and whole wheat flour and again stir (using a fork if necessary) to thoroughly combine.
- Put the canola oil and the sugar in a large bowl and beat with a whisk until thick and pale (they will not combine the way butter does with sugar, but should be as emulsified as you can get in 3 or so minutes of beating).
- Add the flour mixture to the oil/sugar emulsion, and stir with a wooden spoon until it is fully blended.
- Add the Calvados and stir briefly.
- Add the apples and pecans and stir until they are distributed throughout.
- Scrape the cake into the greased pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly (this can be anywhere between 1 hour and 1 hour and 40 minutes depending on your oven. Begin checking at 1 hour). When cooked the top will appear a little cracked and craggy.
- Cool on a rack until you can handle the pan (but it is still warm).
- Run a thin knife around the outside of the cake several times to loosen it (even with a buttered pan, this cake likes to hang on). Then place a plate or rack over the top of the pan and invert so the cake comes loose.
- Turn the cake back over to finish cooling.
- Make the glaze by melting the butter in a small pan and then adding all other ingredients and bringing to a simmer and cooking for 5 or so minutes.
- Cool the glaze until it just begins to thicken (this may require a little refrigeration).
- When cake is cool, pour glaze over the top and then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.