Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cakes
Adapted from Gourmet
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces, plus additional for greasing
3 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 whole milk
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 425 F. Butter muffin cups and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, until the foam dissipates. Cook the apples in butter, with brown sugar and lemon juice until liquid is reduced to a glaze and apples are tender, about 7-8 minutes.
Stir in walnuts and cook another minute. Divide mixture among the 12 muffin cups. You only need a little bit at the bottom. You will have more than enough of the apple mixture and undoubtedly have apples left over. You can always double the batter amount and make 24 cakes instead of 12.
For the Dry Ingredients:
Food processor method (in case you really want to): In a food processor pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Add remaining butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized butter lumps. The mixture will feel sandy to the touch.
Manual method: If you don’t have a food processor on hand, whisk these dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add remaining butter and with a pastry cutter, working quickly, cut butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized butter lumps. The mixture will feel sandy to the touch.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until golden about 20 minutes.
Run a pairing knife around the edge of each cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert the rack over muffin cups and flip the muffin cups over onto the rack.
Serve with a dollop of freshly made whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream on top.