Apple Crumb Cakes with Calvados Crème Anglaise

Apple Crumb Cakes with Calvados Crème Anglaise
Makes 12 cakes
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  1. 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  2. 1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  11. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and divided
  12. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  13. 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  14. 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  15. 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  16. 1 recipe Calvados Crème Anglaise (see below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Line the wells of a 12-well square muffin pan with paper liners, or spray with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; whisk to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, applesauce, 2 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, and egg whites. Whisk to blend. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then pour the milk mixture into the well. Stir until dry ingredients are just moist. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine the almonds, oats, remaining 2/3 cup flour, remaining 2/3 cup brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of batter in pan.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan for 15 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely, or serve warm. Remove paper liners before serving; serve with Calvados Crème Anglaise.
Calvados Crème Anglaise
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  1. 2 cups half-and-half
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup Calvados*
  4. 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and split, seeds removed and reserved
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the half-and-half, sugar, Calvados, vanilla bean, and salt. Cook, whisking often, until mixture just begins to boil; immediately remove from heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Using a ladle, slowly stream about 1 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly; repeat. Return the yolk-half-and-half mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, or until mixture registers 170˚ on an instant-read thermometer.
  3. Remove from heat; using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a stainless steel bowl set in an ice bath. Discard vanilla bean and any solids. Stir until mixture comes to room temperature. Cover the surface of the crème anglaise with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Calvados Crème Anglaise will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
  1. *Calvados is a dry apple brandy made in the Normandy region of northern France. Applejack or other apple brandy may be substituted.
For more delicious autumn recipes, see “Tempting Apple Dishes”, in the September/October 2009 issue of Victoria magazine.

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