FRESH APPLE CAKE WITH CARAMEL TOPPING
one 10-inch tube cake
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and oil, beating at high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well. Fold in apples and nuts. Spoon into a greased 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool thoroughly in pan. While cake is cooling, prepare Caramel Topping. Evenly pour hot topping over thoroughly cooled cake. Allow cake to thoroughly cool again. When cake and topping are completely cooled, carefully remove cake from pan and removable bottom, and transfer to a serving plate. To do so carefully, loosen edges of cake around the outside and also around the tube in the center; place a plate over the cake in the pan, holding it firmly in place, and invert cake onto the plate. Then, place a second plate over the cake and invert again so the cake will be right-side-up. (This cake is very moist and somewhat fragile in taking out of the pan, but worth the effort in flavor).
Note: May reduce the amount of cooking oil to 2/3 cup; add 2/3 cup Smucker's Shortening & Oil
Baking Replacement or 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk (or apple jack brandy and milk), mixing well. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and bubbly hot. Stir in caramel flavoring, if desired.
Variation: Omit apples and use 3 cups chopped peeled firm ripe pears to the batter. Proceed as previously directed.