I hate letting food go to waste, but sometimes, especially when you buy in bulk, things can start to look a little unappetizing before you've had a chance to finish them. And then just try getting the family to eat them! So, for items I buy in large quantities, especially fruits and vegetables, I like to be ready -- once things begin to look a little wizened -- with a good use-up strategy.
My family eats a lot of apples, and I buy them by the dozen. About the time they start to go a little soft and wrinkly, I know just what to do: I make a Wrinkly Apple Upside Down Cake. (And if the main thing wrinkling up right now is your nose, please observe that I did not say Rotten Apple Upside Down Cake! Who would want that?)
Besides being a frugal way to use excess fruit, this recipe is all kinds of good. It's an easy, one-bowl recipe. It is dairy free, gluten free, and low calorie at under 200 per serving. It is naturally sweetened using fruit juice concentrates, and one serving has less sugar than an apple. (One ninth of the cake has 9.7 grams of sugar, compared to 18.6 grams in a medium-sized raw apple, according to calorieking.com. Now, I am in no way saying it's healthier to eat cake than apples. But if you are trying to decide if this treat fits into your diet plan, it's what you need to know.)
The ingredients are few:
- 3 cups of raw, peeled, diced apples
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 3 tablespoons of unsweetened pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 1-1/2 cups of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour**
- 1-1/4 teaspoons of baking soda
** This specific brand is my preference, and what I used in calculating the nutrition information. However, feel free to use any brand of all purpose flour you like, including wheat flour.
The instructions are simple:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly apply cooking spray to the inside of an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
In a small glass bowl, heat the coconut oil in the microwave until liquified (1 or 2 minutes.)
In a large bowl, combine the apples, 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Dump this into the baking dish and spread evenly.
Using the same bowl, combine the remaining coconut oil, cinnamon, egg, and juice concentrates.
Stir in the flour, and beat by hand until combined.
Add the baking soda, and beat by hand into a somewhat stiff, biscuit-like dough. (Don't over-do it at this point. Beat just enough to combine.)
Spoon the dough into the baking dish on top of the apples, and spread it evenly to the edges and into the corners.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes until the cake is golden-brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool in the baking dish atop a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
Finally, place an inverted serving platter on top of the baking dish and flip the dish over to transfer the cake to the platter, apple side up. Cut into 9 even servings.
Although humble in appearance, and not overly sweet, this is a light and yummy treat, good for dessert, for a snack, and even for breakfast. I like it with just a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Looking for more frugal ways to use leftovers and extras? Click here to check out a great use for extra bananas or cake.