Cakes, Pies & Tarts

Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Apple Raisin Walnut Cake-Duo Dishes

It’s official. We cannot stop ourselves from tweaking recipes. It’s a bad habit. Here we go, with intentions of making a classic tarte tatin, which turned into the bright idea of trying a tarte tatin cake. Oh, but it does not stop there. Ina Garten has this deliciously classic (at least in terms of the tarte tatin element) recipe that seemed perfect. Well, perfect with a few changes. So many changes that it’s hard to say if we even have the same exact cake. We’re red handed guilty. In an effort to pay homage to a classic French dessert, we invite you to check out this revamped version!

Thank you Ina. Once again, you have succeeded in satisfying our stomachs with one of your recipes. You have heard us sing our praises for Ina Garten too many times now, so we won’t drag it out. She has an apple tatin cake recipe that tweaked a bit to come up with a comforting dessert or brunch treat. We made a few changes by adding walnuts and raisins, reducing the sugar in the caramel topping, using brown sugar in the cake, adding spices to the apples and upping the butter just a teeny bit. OK, so maybe that equals a lot of changes, but who’s counting here? Because it is nowhere near the true form of an apple tatin, we felt like we just had to change the name. Call it whatever you like should you decide to give it a whirl!

Apple, Raisin and Walnut Cake – Serves 10 to 12 (flipped around from Barefoot Contessa)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for baking
2 gala apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/3 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
Zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1.  Generously grease a 9-inch glass pie dish with the extra softened butter.  Set aside.

2.  Place apple slices, walnuts and raisins in a small bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Toss with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Spread on the bottom of the baking dish (apples should be cut side down).

3.  Whisk 1 cup of sugar with water in a small saucepan and cook on high heat until sugar has melted and turned a medium dark brown color similar to the shade of a penny with a syrupy consistency.  (Swirl pan to ensure even melting of sugar, but do not stir.)  Once ready, immediately pour over apples.

4.  While apples sit, cream the 1/2 cup of butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.

5.  Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla until combined.  While wet ingredients mix, in a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to wet ingredients until just combined.

6.  Scrape the batter over the apples, walnuts and raisins and spread evenly.  Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until top of cake bounces back upon touch. Cool for 15-20 minutes, then invert onto a flat platter.

Click HERE for printable recipe.

We’re up for a Foodbuzz Blog Award, and the category is ‘Blogger You’d Most Want to See Open Their Own Restaurant’.  If you haven’t already, would you mind putting in a vote?


20 thoughts on “Never Leave Well Enough Alone

  1. Congrats on the well deserved recognition – you earned it, so savor it! Please continue to tweak, I love tweaking, and you’re tweaking has taken us to some very good places!

  2. Tweaking is necessary. That’s where the ingredient ” love” comes in. A dish will come alive when you put your heart into it. This looks great. I’ve made tarte tatin once. Freakin amazing.

  3. Tweaking recipes is a good habit, especially where you two are concerned – please continue to tweak at will 🙂

    And congrats again on your foodbuzz & bertoli nods – I’ve been getting woefully behind on doing my blog rounds, but news like that can’t hide – am really thrilled for you!

  4. I tweak ALL my recipes! Even queen Ina Garten’s! I think that’s what makes cooking fun! Where’s the joy in copying what’s written in the book word for word?

  5. Heh. We have that disease!!
    A recipe is never good enough it seems. There’s always something… double the garlic, add a little something.

    But you’re GOOD at it, and that’s all that matters 🙂 Looks delish.

  6. Who follows recipes to a tee? Tweaking recipes is a good thing. I do it all the time. Looks really good. I want some for breakfast.

  7. The best recipes are the ones that get tweaked. After all, we all have our special twists. I can’t wait to try this cake. Looks so tasty!

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