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Caramel Apple Gingerbread

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  • 3 lg baking apples (Empire, Cortland)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 pkg (14 1/2 oz) gingerbread cake mix
  • 1 large egg (if directed on cake mix)
  • 1-1 1/4 cups cider (equal to amount of water directed on cake mix)
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  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter 8-inch square baking dish or deep 9-inch cake pan and set aside.

  • 2

    Peel, core & slice apples; toss with lemon juice.

  • 3

    In large skillet, stir together sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cook over medium-high heat, not stirring again, but swirling pan for even cooking, until sugar turns to golden syrup (about 4 minutes – watch carefully so it doesn’t burn).

  • 4

    Remove from heat; add butter and stir until melted. Add apples and return to medium heat (caramel will clump at first, then dissolve). Cook until apples are tender and juices have thickened again into syrup, about 5 minutes. Spread apples evenly in prepared pan.

  • 5

    In bowl, whisk together cake mix, egg (if using), and cider. Pour batter over apples. Bake for time directed on cake mix or until cake feels firm when lightly pressed in center.

  • 6

    Let stand for 5 minutes. Run knife around pan’s edge, then set serving plate on top of pan and carefully invert both, letting cake drop onto plate. Replace any apples that adhere to the pan. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

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