I know it’s a day late or so, but did everyone have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend? Kramer and I just hung around town, enjoying our extra day off and doing plenty of relaxing. We went to a friend’s housewarming party on Friday night, where I was actually out of the house until 2 AM, which is practically unheard of for this old married couple. I suppose it was just a good party! On Saturday, we slept in, then met up with Kramer’s sister for a late breakfast/early lunch at Smorgasburg, where, it seems, we attempted to eat everything. We had lobster rolls, sesame noodles, chili cheese dogs, tamales, pupusas, plantains, and fancy popsicles (my favorite was an apricot/salted caramel variation). It was all delicious and I can’t wait to go again soon! Obviously we were completely stuffed afterward, but we still managed to make it over to the movie theater to see The Tree of Life. The movie was simply not my thing. I enjoyed the way in which Terrence Malick was able to deliver a pretty simple story in a brand new way, but it was the least cohesive thing I have ever seen and it was just too much nonsense for me to handle. It was, however, beautifully shot, and I do think that Brad Pitt did a great job with what few lines he actually had. After the movie, we grabbed some meats and cheeses, then headed back to our apartment for some charcuterie, a baguette, and some nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Later on in the weekend, I did get to see a movie that I absolutely loved, which was Too Big to Fail. It was just one of those movies that I think everyone should see, not only because of how well done it was, but because of how important the material for the movie was, and still is.
I know that my The Real Women of Philadelphia challenge is officially over, but I got a bit carried away with the event and made one extra dish to share with you all. I had, of course, way too much cream cheese left over in my apartment after making so many dishes, so I figured that one more wouldn’t hurt, right? Besides, this cake was so insanely delicious that it would be a crime not to share it with you! I adapted it a bit from the winning recipe from last year’s contest, and I’m so glad that I did. I usually make deserts in large quantities, so that Kramer or I can take them into work and not eat everything on our own. This generally means that I don’t bake a lot of cakes, because they are hard to transport and not easy to just pick up and eat. However, I ended up cutting this circular cake into squares and my serving problem was easily solved. The cake itself is sweet, but not too sweet, and light while still tasting rich and buttery. I think that this is the work of the cream cheese, which I was a bit skeptical about at first, but now I wouldn’t make this cake without it. The caramelized apples on top are perfectly cooked and take an average tea or breakfast cake to a whole new level (yes, I would call this a breakfast cake because, hey, there’s no frosting). My husband and I honestly could not stop sneaking pieces of this cake – I had to package it all up and hide it away before we could devour the whole thing! I think that the people at work enjoyed it just as much, and I know that you will, too!
First, make your caramel. Combine your water and sugar.
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden.
Add your lemon juice after removing from the heat.
Pour your caramel into a pan that has been greased with non-stick spray and set aside.
Beat together your sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add in your flour and baking powder and beat until just moistened.
Thinly slice your apples.
And arrange them in the pan coated with caramel.
Spread the batter over the apples and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-40 minutes, until golden and set.
Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before removing from the pan.
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 4 apples, sliced thinly (you can peel them, if you like, but I didn't because I like the color the skin adds to the cake and the skins cook down, anyway)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch or a 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray. Heat ¾ cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden. Don't worry if it bubbles, that's fine. Add in the lemon juice and remove from heat - be careful not to burn your hands, as it will sputter a bit. Pour into bottom of your pan. Arrange your apple slices on top of the caramel in a circular pattern (it's okay if they overlap). Set aside.
- Beat together the remaining ¾ cup of granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl, then gradually add to the batter, beating until just moistened. Gently spread the batter over the apples and caramel (don't worry if it isn't perfect, it will look beautiful after it is baked).
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, until golden. When ready, remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes, then invert onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. I recommend a cup of coffee or tea, or even a scoop of ice cream, to go along with it!