This is by far, my favorite autumn cake. I think about it pretty much all year, but only make it once. It’s smooth and dreamy, and the topping of cinnamon crumbs and baked apples is oh-so-good. It practically melts in your mouth. Such a yummy thing for a lazy weekend breakfast, or a little coffee gathering with friends. The recipe says to make it in a square baking pan. I make mine in a circular spring-form pan because I think the cake is so beautiful when it comes out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/2), peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced crosswise
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cream cheese (regular or low-fat) at room temperature
1 1/2 Cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Heat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan (or 9-inch round spring-form pan) and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium-size skillet. Add the apple slices and saute over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until they’re tender-firm. Move the slices to a plate and set them aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set it aside. With an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and the cream cheese in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, a third at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spoon.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the dry ingredients until you have uniform, buttery crumbs. Sprinkle half of the crumbs over the batter, then layer with the apple slices. Top with the remaining crumbs.
Bake the cake on the center rack for 50 to 60 minutes. When done, the cake will pull away from the sides and the top will be golden brown. (A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.) Transfer the cake to a rack and cool completely in the pan. Slice and serve. Makes 12 servings.
Source: Altered just a tiny bit from Family Fun Magazine (October 2004) from contributing editor Ken Haedrich, author of Pie: 300 Tried and True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie