The University of Minnesota is a leader in developing new varieties of apples. Among them are the Haralson, Honeycrisp, Prairie Spy and dozens more. The latest to hit the markets is the Sweetango. The new apple is sweet and juicy, like its mother (Honeycrisp), but it has a little more acid to it, from dad (Zestar). The combination is incredibly tasty with a lovely snap.
I moved here from Vermont where the quintessential baking apple was the McIntosh. Now that I live in the land of 10,000 lakes and almost as many apples I like to use a variety of them in my baking. I combine apples that will break down and those that will keep their shape. I also like to use some that are sweet and others that have a bit more acid. To add a bit of perfume and richness to the mix I add a bit of pear.
This coffee cake is a perfect way to show off the autumns best apples. Mixed with brioche and streusel topping the cake is great for brunch or an after school snack. Apple and Pear Coffee Cake
The Streusel Topping:
1 cup oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, well packed
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound (grapefruit-size portion) Brioche dough (page 189) – You will notice that I have decreased the amount of dough, because the technique I’m using in this post is slightly different. Either way will result in the same cake.
2 small apples (1 tart and 1 sweet, thinly sliced)
1 large pear, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
zest of half an orange
1 1/2 cups streusel topping (above)
To make the streusel: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss until well combined.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Split the pound of dough in two equal pieces, form them into balls and roll them out to be just slightly wider than the cake pan. place one of the disks of dough in the prepared pan. It should come up the sides just a bit.
Combine the apples, pear, brown sugar and zest in a bowl. Spread half of the apple mixture on the first layer of dough.
cover with about 3/4 cup streusel. Repeat with other layer of dough, rest of apples and another 3/4 cup streusel. Let the cake rest for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until tester comes out of the center clean. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake.
If you used the cake pan, invert the pan onto a plate. Lift the pan off the cake.
Peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake and then invert onto a cake plate.
Make coffee or tea and enjoy!