Torta di Mele with Caramel Sauce
For the caramel sauce:
1. Mix the cinnamon and 5 Tbsp of sugar into the apples and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, add the oil and sugar and mix until combined.
3. Add eggs and combine.
4. Add vanilla.
5. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and slowly combine. Once combined, beat until smooth.
6. Grease a large angel food pan or bundt pan.
7. Start by adding a layer of batter, about 1/3 of the mixture. Then add a thick layer of apples. Repeat this step two more times. Apples will be on top.
8. Pour the residual juices from the apples over the cake. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke wholes to allow the liquid to get into the cake.
9. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 1/2 hours. Check after 1 hour.
In the meantime, prepare the caramel sauce.
1. Heat sugar in a saucepan (avoid using non-stick) over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn it.
2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until melted and combined. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumps up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually– just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.
3. After the butter has melted and combined with the caramelized sugar, cook for 1 minute without stirring.
4. Very slowly stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the hot caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. After all the heavy cream has been added, stop stirring and allow to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
5. Turn off the heat and add the salt, stir. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.
6. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.
Once the cake is cooled, put it on a cake plate, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, add freshly whipped unsweetened cream, garnish with apple peel and zest from orange and lemon and serve.