Ever since our trip to Hudson last month, I've been itching to bake something with our generous stash of apples. I started thinking about the nectarine brown butter buckle that I made last year and was inspired to make something similar with the deeper, richer flavors of fall. Buckles are similar to crumbles and cobblers, with a crumb topping, and remind me of a round coffee cake. I went searching for recipes to match my craving and found this one to be just what I was looking for.
I edited the recipe slightly, substituting nutmeg instead of ginger, sliced almonds in place of walnuts in the crumb topping (which could be omitted entirely if desired), and whole milk instead of half-and-half (just based on what convenience and what I had on hand). The biggest change I made was to thinly slice the apples (leaving the skin on) and set them in a single layer on top of the cake batter instead of peeling and dicing them and folding them into the batter. I love the presentation with the distinct layers of cake, fruit, and crumb topping and the faint pink color that the the apple skins impart. My grandmother would always make homemade apple sauce with the skins on, turning it a gorgeous pink, so this approach reminded me of her.
The resulting cake is hearty and deliciously crumbly. It's a perfect complement to an afternoon cup of tea or coffee, and it makes for a decadent breakfast too!