Thu 15 Mar 2018
Read other related stories: Charcoal Grill , Dessert , Fruit
WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE
As the second most consumed fruit in the USA, apples are loaded with antioxidant benefits and have been found to have extensive benefit to the colon due to the high level of gut bacteria present in its polyphenols. Plus, this is a fruit that is readily available all year long making it an ideal choice for cooking.
We are taking the Gala variety and putting them over a coal fire for wood-fired flavor in our apple pie cake. Pick your favorite variety of apple and get out the charcoal grill for this fun and simple technique and recipe.
Fire Up the Grill
After purchasing 12 apples of your choice, get the charcoal grill going, so the flames can reduce to hot coals. That’s all needed for our apple cooking! Any size charcoal grill will do, including the small portable grill. I use a chimney started to lite charwood from SmokinLicious® as this is my preferred product when I do a short cook fruit or vegetable item. The reason? It is not fully carbonized, so it still releases plenty of flavonoids from the hardwood. You certainly can use a standard hardwood charcoal but add a chunk or two of SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks to be sure you get a wood flavor.
While the chimney starter is burning down to hot coals, I peel and thinly slice 12 apples. I use a Gala variety for my recipe and a Stôk charcoal grill, equipped with an insert system. I place my sliced apples in the insert vegetable basket for this simple method of wood firing the apples. Just be sure to spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the apples don’t stick.
A Cake by Name
With my hot SmokinLicious® charwood producing steady heat, my 12 Gala apples peeled and sliced thin, I’m ready to place the vegetable basket over the hot coals. Remember, apples have a lot of water content, so they will steam initially. The water will attract the smoke vapor and bring great color and flavor. After approximately 10 minutes, I shake the apple slices in the basket to allow them to rotate for even cooking and color. You’ll see the edges become bronzed as they cook. In 20 minutes, these will be ready to go.
wood-fired apples make the best cake
Adding the Ingredients & Cook Time
After the apples are removed from the grill and cooled slightly, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to maintain color until baked in the oven. Set those aside and gather together 2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 sticks of cold butter cut into 8 cubes.
Start by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Taking one piece of cold butter at a time, add to the flour mixture, cutting each piece using either an electric hand mixer, 2 knives or a pastry cutter. You want to have pea-size pieces of butter mixed into the flour mixture. Press 2/3 of this mixture into a 9-inch springform pan then add the wood-fired apple slices, spreading evenly in pan.
With the wood fired apple slices nestled in the simple cake batter of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s time to top the apples with the remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Be sure all areas are covered. Set the springform pan on the foil lined sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven for 75 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the springform pan until cool. Just run a knife along the edge of the cake to ensure it will separate from the pan’s ring once removed. Remove the ring when the cake has cooled then sift a ¼ cup powdered sugar on the surface of the cake.
After giving Gala apple slices the lick of smoke from our charwood grill, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with butter for a great cake batter, and baking everything together, the ultimate in apple pie cake is born. With a light coating of powder sugar, the wood-fired apple slices pile high for perfection in the single bite. More like a cobbler batter than cake, you’ll love the simplicity of the construction and the unique flavor a wood fire gives to apples. Perfect anytime of the year, just like apples are, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when you fire up the grill for wood infusion to apples. Now you must also prove that Wood-Fired Apples make the best Cake – Enjoy!