2013 Christmas Cookbook: Upside-Down Apple Cake with Whiskey-Soaked Fruit
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
3 red apples, unpeeled, quartered, cored, very thinly (1/4 inch) sliced
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup slivered almonds, finely ground
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup apple jelly
2 ounces (from 8-ounce container) mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh cranberries and orange slices, if desired
In medium bowl, mix dried cranberries, apricots, orange peel and bourbon. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening. Line bottom of each pan with cooking parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with shortening.
Line bottom and side of each pan with overlapping apple slices, cutting slices as necessary to line side of each pan.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, ground almonds, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in soaked dried fruit and ginger. Gently pour into pans over apple slices.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately turn pans upside down to release cakes onto cooling racks.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave apple jelly uncovered on High 15 to 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until hot. Brush over apples on top and side of each cake to make shiny. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, whipping cream and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. On serving plate, place one cake, apple side up. Top with whipped cream mixture. Gently place remaining cake layer on top of cream, apple side up. Garnish with fresh cranberries and orange slices. Cut into slices with serrated knife. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.