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Fresh Perspective Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake (Or, Apple Right-Side-Up Cornmeal Cake)

Serves 12

Ingredients for the apple layer:

4 tablespoons butter

3 apples, any variety

2/3 cup unrefined sugar or ½ cup honey

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the cake:

2 cups Shakefork pancake mix (or a blend of wheat, buckwheat, cornmeal, etc.)

1 cup Shakefork cornmeal

¼ cup oil or butter

2/3 cup unrefined sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup yogurt

½ cup sour cream (or yogurt)

Making the cake:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter 12 muffin cups or 8x12-inch cake pan. 

Peel and core apples, then chop finely.

Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook apples, sugar or honey, and lemon juice, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze and apples are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in walnuts. 

At this point, decide whether you’re making upside down cake, or taking a fresh perspective. For upside down cake, spread apple-walnut filling on bottom of pan. For a fresh perspective, reserve the apple mixture to spread on top of cake after it’s baked.

For the cake: Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a fork. Add oil (or butter) blend until mixture looks crumbly.

Whisk together egg and yogurt/sour cream in a large bowl. Add flour mixture and blend together until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups or pour into baking pan and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a cake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Run a paring knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert rack over muffin cups, then invert cakes onto rack. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

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