May I offer you a slice of this Apple Cornbread Cake? In addition to apples, cornmeal and almond flour, it boasts a heavenly combination of cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest - one of my favorite Sicilian/Mediterranean flavor profiles. (If you like this combo too, you'll want to make these Orange + Almond Olive Oil Muffins, if you haven't already).
This is a rich cake but it isn't "cake" in the traditional, dense flour sense. It's a cross between cornbread and a sponge. Some call this polenta cake. I think of it as a sweet, more moist cornbread, elevated (quite literally, with more baking powder and eggs). It has a tender, sponge-like crumb, crisp, caramelized edges and top, and subtle, nutty notes from the cornmeal. It can be served with ice cream or plain yogurt barely sweetened with maple. To my surprise, I preferred the yogurt for a tangy contrast. In fact, as the yogurt soaked into the cake, it reminded me of a darker, spiced, autumnal version of tres leches. Is that possible? Give it a try and tell me if you agree!
I made this cake in celebration of apple season and the cooler, lighter Autumn air we're now enjoying. I think you're going to like it. We've had it for an afternoon tea break and then breakfast. And to my husband's disappointment, I shared the second half, cut into thick cubes, with fellow yogis at a recent yoga class + picnic in the park. They approved. ;-)
Before I leave you with the recipe, I have something else to share.
After four years and a few months living in Switzerland, last month we moved to Madrid!
The cake is a partial celebration of settling into our new life here. I can already tell this will be a good home for us. But I say partial celebration because this was our hardest move to date, leaving incredibly dear friends and a very special country.
As my mother-in-law insightfully commented: "It's a sad ending with an exciting beginning."
I couldn't have said it better. And as one of my good friends reminded me, I've left with more than I came with. I plan on adding to that with the friends and community, insights and inspiration I gain living in Madrid. So wherever you're reading from, I hope you continue to follow along, cook the recipes, and find inspiration for your own Whole Nourishment lifestyle. I'm dedicated to supporting you, my clients, and myself as we all seek nourishment in our everyday.
By the way, as of Friday I have a new and much improved background section! You can read more about me and my work below.
Apple Skillet Cornbread Cake
Notes: The recipe calls for almond milk, but buttermilk works as well. If you use buttermilk instead, omit apple cider vinegar. Serve with ice cream or plain yogurt, lightly sweetened with maple syrup.
UPDATE! I've since made this with 1/4 cup (56 gr.) butter and 1/4 cup applesauce, and it turned out just as good. Also tried it with a splash of almond extract and omitted lemon zest for a different flavor combo and it was excellent.
1/2 cup (113.4 gr) unsalted butter
1 cup (160 gr) cornmeal
1 cup (90 gr) almond flour
3/4 cup (105 gr) coconut sugar (Muscovado or brown sugar also work)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened plant milk)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
2 medium apples, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F/176 C.
Cube butter and place in a ~12 in/28 cm cast-iron skillet, or other similarly sized, deep, heavy-bottomed oven-proof skillet. Place skillet in the oven to melt butter while oven is preheating. (Leave in the oven as long as possible. If butter begins to brown, even better. But keep an eye on it, or set a timer for 10 minutes to make sure butter doesn't burn.)
In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal and next 6 ingredients (through cinnamon). In a small mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk and remaining ingredients, except for apples.
Whisk liquid mixture into dry. As you're combining, slowly stream in melted butter. (Use a paper towel to wipe skillet so all sides are coated with a thin layer of the leftover melted butter.) Fold in chopped apples and pour immediately into skillet.
Cook for 25 minutes, or until edges and top are golden brown and knife inserted in the middle comes out barely clean. My oven cooks very hot. If your oven cooks slowly, increase temperature to 375 F/190 C, make sure it is well preheated, and cook 23-25 minutes.