High Altitude Baking: Staub’s Apple Cake recipe
February 15, 2017
Editor's note: High altitudes makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This twice-monthly column presents recipes and tips that make baking in the mountains successful.
When you think of great pastries, what countries come to mind? I immediately name those in Western Europe, where this recipe originated.
A vanilla-and-butter cake with a tender crumb is topped with sweet apples and served with rich cream sauce — simple, elegant and delicious. It's reminiscent of a classic German Apple Kuchen, with some added twists for the Rocky Mountains.
To make sure the apples are flavorful and fully cooked when the cake is done — a frequent problem at high altitudes — I macerate them in cider or rum and sugar, which softens them so they bake more quickly. I also glaze the baked fruit with apricot jelly to add more taste and deepen its color.
Tips for success: The cake ingredients should be at room temperature, and once flour is added to the batter, stir only until it's incorporated (don't overmix). Slice the apple wedges no more than a quarter of an inch thick or they may not be done when the cake is fully baked. If you want them to form a pretty design, make sure the ones for the outer edge of the cake are all the same length.
The cream sauce can be made up to two days ahead of serving. The cake is best the day it's made but is still good on the second day.
Vera Dawson is a high altitude baking teacher and author of two high-altitude cookbooks Baking Above It All and Cookies in the Clouds, (available at The Bookworm in Edwards and Next Page Bookstore in Frisco). Her recipes have been tested in her Summit County kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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