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Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Apple Upside Down Cake

Canadian Thanksgiving is upon us and so we are getting ready to make our annual trek to spend the holiday with my sister and her family.

First of all, let us discuss the merits of having Thanksgiving fall so early in the year, as opposed to the American holiday which occurs right before Christmas. If you are a turkey lover, and we are huge turkey lovers, you want to partake of a big turkey dinner as many times a year as you can possibly manage, no? This means that we like to do turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. I am thinking about making Shack a huge turkey dinner for his birthday in May as well but don't tell him, it's a surprise. Don't worry, he says he reads my blog but he really doesn't so he will never know if you don't tell him.

So, back to the merits of an early Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving has been held on the second Monday of October since 1957. This means it can be as early as Oct 8th, like this year, or as late as the 15th or so. I like a holiday that moves around like that. I like knowing I am going to eat turkey but I never really know WHEN I am going to eat it so every year is like a surprise. Canadian Thanksgiving is nobodies bitch. Also, if you eat a big turkey dinner in early October, you are totally jonesing for another round by the end of December but if you eat turkey at the end of November, you find yourself pondering the merits of prime ribs and hams come Christmas. This means that you are going to consume one less turkey spread.
Not acceptable in my world.
Thanks god I am Canadian.

So, I am bringing a dessert to go with my sister's pumpkin pie. When my mom was alive, she would have made an apple pie to go with that but I don't want to make another pie. At the same time, I want to honour my mom so I want to make something with apples. My mom also made a mean pineapple upside down cake and my peach upside down cake as my favourite dessert this year. That is how a gooey, cinnamony apple upside down cake was born.

Apple Upside Down Cake
adapted from Abra Bennet at Food 52

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
about 4 apple, sliced thinly
1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 tbls apple juice or cider
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F

Melt the butter in a 9" cast iron skillet and add the brown sugar. Mix it well until the sugar is totally combined with the melted butter and is pretty much dissolved and turn off the heat. Arrange your apple slices artfully (or not if you don't care about such things- again, I don't judge) on top of the melted butter brown sugar in the bottom of your skillet.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks at med speed until they are thick and yellow and then gradually add in the sugar, beating at med speed the whole time. Turn the speed to low and slowly start adding the flour mixture in there. Lastly, add the apple juice or cider.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into the cake batter. Pour the batter over the fruit/butter/sugar and make sure it's evenly spread and covers all of the fruit.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake on a rack in the skillet for about half an hour before inverting it onto a serving plate. Don't panic if some of the sugary apple chunks stay in the skillet because you can just scoop them up with a spatula and plop them back on the cake in the spot that now has a hole. Once the cake cools, it will have melted back in with the rest of the topping and nobody will care.
Amaze and wow your friends.

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