When we left for France, my sweet Daddy gave me his blessing. He understands what it’s like to love another land. When he was a young man, he lived in Puerto Rico and he can still bring an Old San Juan barroom to life through his colorful stories.
But understanding another’s need to go and explore doesn’t mean you don’t miss them, and let me tell you, my Daddy missed me as much as I missed him and that is more than a lot.
How do I know he missed me besides him telling me every single time we talked during the six months I was away?
When we returned and I made a bee line to visit him, he had made a welcome home sign and hung it in my parking space at his house, he made OUR RIBS and lots of other goodies for us to feast on, and he had eight (!!) Lodge cast iron skillets for me. Eight. Cast. Iron. Skillets.
If you knew me like my Daddy knows me, you would know right away that one new cast iron skillet means love, but eight? Well, as Daddy’s daddy would say, that’s a right smart. (That’s Southern talk for “it’s a whole lot”.)
And now, I’ve added the eight new skillets to my collection (and yes, all of those came from Daddy, too, some of them handed down from his mother).
This caramel apple cake is perfect for a 10-inch skillet. It’s also perfect for autumn and for sharing with people you love.
Gluten Free Cast Iron Skillet Caramel Apple Cake
2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/4 cup dairy-free room temperature butter substitute (or real butter if you are not dairy-free)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup Gigi’s Everyday Gluten-Free Flour Blend (Gum-Free) or similar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk (dairy- or plant-based will work)
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375F and have a potholder handy (the skillet handle may get hot while it’s on the stovetop).
- Slowly melt 1/4 cup butter substitute (or butter) in an 8-inch iron skillet over low heat.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter (resist the urge to stir!); arrange apples, rounded side down, on top of sugar and butter in a circular fashion; allow this mixture to cook, uncovered, over low heat while you prepare the batter. (Be sure to keep the heat low and an eye on the skillet so the sugar doesn’t burn.)
- For the batter, combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and spread the batter carefully over the apples in the skillet so they remain in place (this insures a pretty finished cake).
- Using that potholder I mentioned earlier, transfer the iron skillet to the preheated oven; bake approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
- When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and cool it in the skillet 15 minutes before serving.
- To serve, carefully run a small spatula or knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Place a heatproof serving plate over the skillet and carefully invert the skillet (again, using that potholder!) to release the cake onto the serving plate. Cut into wedges, as you would a pie.
Have a look at those edges…