Cooking in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is a rite of passage in many families. Skillets become heirlooms handed down from generation to generation: Vintage Griswold Manufacturing Co. or Wagner Manufacturing Co. cast-irons are known to sell for more than $100 if the decades-old seasoning is intact.
I was lucky to come by my prized skillet from my husband, an avid camper, who seasoned it by cooking bacon and crispy potatoes in it. We’ve used it almost daily for more than 20 years.
The flavor achieved by cooking in a cast-iron skillet is only surpassed by the excellent caramelization it gives meat and vegetables. Most people know they can bake cornbread in their cast-iron skillet, but this apple cake also turns out perfectly crispy and delicious. The following recipe is a riff on basic muffin or pancake batter and is very simple to make at home.
Christy Augustin has had a lifelong love affair with all things sweet. After working as a pastry chef in New Orleans and St. Louis, she opened Pint Size Bakery & Coffee in St. Louis’ Lindenwood Park in 2012. She calls herself the baker of all things good and evil. Learn more at pintsizebakery.com.
Cast-Iron Apple Skillet Cake
Serves | 10 to 12 |
- butter, for coating pan
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- pinch ground ginger
- pinch ground allspice
- pinch ground clove
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- zest of ½ orange (optional)
- ¹⁄₃ cup apple cider or apple juice
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup sunflower or canola oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups peeled, cored and diced apple
- ice cream (to serve)
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350°F.
Coat cast-iron skillet with butter, and preheat skillet in oven for 10 minutes.
In a medium-large bowl, sift next 8 ingredients together. In a small bowl, combine sugars, salt and zest. Stir sugar mixture into dry ingredients. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together except diced apple and ice cream. Make a well in center of bowl of dry ingredients, and whisk wet ingredients into it to form a thick batter. Stir in diced apple, and pour into preheated skillet. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake for 25 minutes, until center is puffed and cake is a dark golden brown. Serve immediately with a big scoop of ice cream, or store at room temperature for up to 4 days. Don’t leave cake in cast-iron skillet overnight as apple will discolor and skillet might rust.