With the arrival of fall our thoughts turn to the enjoyment of weekend hours spent indoors preparing our favourite comfort foods. This month’s recipe for a Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Bundt Cake has the extra step of browning the butter which delivers a richer flavour to the dish. You have the option of making a large Bundt for family style service, or using individual pans for your guests to enjoy a personal cake treat. Either way, the warm seasonal combination of fresh local apples, bourbon and spices will be a delicious finish to your Thanksgiving or any other autumn meal.
Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Bundt Cake
Makes 1 large Bundt or 8-10 miniature Bundts
3 medium Pink Lady apples
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup + 2 Tbsps bourbon
1 cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3 eggs, room temperature
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Butter/non-stick spray and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
Place butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to stir (ensuring that it doesn’t burn). Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning. Cool completely. Place in fridge for a few minutes to solidify.
Zest lemon into a bowl and add sour cream, ¼ cup of bourbon and vanilla. Mix to combine and set aside.
Peel, core and dice apples to approximately 1 cm size. Mix apples and 2 Tbsps of bourbon in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a mixer bowl beat together the brown butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately add sour cream mixture and flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture in three additions. Fold in the bourbon soaked apples then add into the prepared pan.
Bake until golden and apples are tender, approximately 1 hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wired rack. Brush with bourbon syrup then cool completely.
Finish with a dusting of sifted confectioners’ sugar (optional) and serve with bourbon apple compote and fresh whipped cream, if desired.
½ cup white sugar
½ cup bourbon
Combine sugar and bourbon in a saucepan. Place on high heat and bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and brush on the Bundt cake.
Bourbon Apple Compote
6 medium Pink Lady apples
¼ cup + 2 Tbsps brown sugar
3 Tbsps unsalted butter
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peel, core and slice apples.
Place butter in a saucepan and melt. Add the prepared apples and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add ¼ cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup bourbon and cinnamon and continue to cook until the apples are tender and the liquid is evaporated.
Add 2 Tbsps of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp bourbon and cook on high to caramelize the apples.
Add vanilla and remove from heat.
Chef Tip: Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw loves using Pink Lady apples as they bake well and hold their flavour. Ambrosia, Braeburn or Honeycrisp are great alternatives for this recipe.
Recipe: Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events
Photo: Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm