Saturday, October 15, 2016

yeasted apple coffee cake.

Ever since Tyler and I went apple picking last month, I've had visions of an apple coffee cake in my head.  

Not pie (because only normal people look to make pie) but apple coffee cake.

The strange thing about this vision is that I had yet to find a recipe for apple coffee cake.  I had seen pear and rhubarb but never apple and I couldn't understand why.  Please explain to me what is more fall then apples nestled between cake and streusel and drizzled with icing (best eaten while wearing plaid.)   

And then the October issue of Bon Appetit arrived and there was the recipe for apple coffee cake.  It was dreamy looking and exactly what I had in mind.   

This cake is now a favorite in our apartment as it is everything you want to eat right now.  A yeasted cake/bread hybrid with the perfect amount of tang serves as the base for freshly picked apples.  And on top?  Streusel!  Not an overwhelming amount but just enough.   And then there is the dizzle of icing which takes the whole thing over the edge in the best possible way.   

Yeasted Apple Coffee Cake
Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit 

I made some changes because I felt the recipe could be more fall.   So I swapped the orange juice for apple cider, added in some additional spices, and used a little more then 2 pounds of apples because you can never have too many apples this time of year.  Also - this cake freezes brilliantly.   

For the Cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled, plus more
1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar, divided
1 large egg, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
⅓ cup fresh apple cider 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Streusel and Assembly

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup old-fashioned oats
⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
2 pounds firm baking apples (about 4 large), halved, cored, very thinly sliced
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon (or more) apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Make the Cake: Butter a 13x9" shallow baking dish. Mix yeast, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and ¼ cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer; let sit until it foams, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg and remaining brown sugar, then stir in 1 cup flour and mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Sprinkle remaining 2 cups flour over top but do not mix in. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until mixture is visibly puffed and flour has cracks in places, 60–90 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, apple cider, baking powder, and salt to mixture and mix on medium speed with dough hook until smooth, elastic, and just sticking to the sides of bowl, about 4 minutes. Add 6 Tbsp. butter in 2 additions, beating well between additions; beat until a soft, slightly glossy, sticky dough-batter hybrid forms, about 4 minutes.

Using buttered fingers, pat dough into prepared pan in an even layer, spreading to edges. Cover and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until puffed and nearly doubled in size, 60–70 minutes.

Make Streusel and Assemble: Just before dough is finished rising, preheat oven to 350°. Pulse flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and a pinch of salt in a food processor a few times to combine. Add butter and process in long pulses until streusel is the consistency of moist crumbs.

Working with several slices at a time, fan out apples slightly and arrange over dough, shingling rows in different directions; sprinkle streusel over top. Bake until apples are tender and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. 

Whisk powdered sugar, apple cider, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl, adding more apple cider by the teaspoonful as needed, until icing is very thick and smooth and falls back onto itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon. Drizzle over coffee cake.  Serve immediately.  Can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.   

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