Serves 8-10.

2 medium apples

4 tbls. butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbls. boiled cider OR thawed apple juice concentrate

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup light corn syrup

Cake:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbls. boiled cider OR thawed apple juice concentrate

2 large eggs

1-1/2 tsps. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (see note)

1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan at least 2-inches deep. Line the bottom with parchment and then grease the parchment.

2. Slice the top, including the stem, off one of the apples and set it aside before peeling and slicing the rest of the apples into 1/4-inch thick wedges.

3. Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around it.

4. Prepare the topping by heating the butter, sugar, boiled cider (or thawed apple juice concentrate), cinnamon, and corn syrup together over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

5. Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup into the prepared pan and set the rest aside until later.

6. To make cake: Beat oil, brown sugar, boiled cider (or thawed apple juice concentrate), eggs, spices and salt together for 2 minutes at medium speed.

7. Mix the flour with the baking soda and stir it into the batter.

8. Add the chopped apple and nuts and mix until just blended.

9. Drop scoops of the batter atop the apples in the pan, gently spreading to cover.

10. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

11. Remove the cake from the oven and run a thin spatula around the edge to loosen. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then turn it out onto a serving plate, bottom side up. Scrape out any sauce that remains in the pan and spread it over the cake.

12, Reheat the reserved topping. If butter starts to separate as you reheat, add water by the teaspoon and stir until the butter rejoins the rest of the sauce.

13. Pour the sauce over the cake and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: I’ve seen King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour at Calandro’s, most Winn-Dixie stores and at Whole Foods.