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APPLESAUCE COFFEE CAKE

Serves 10 to12

CRUMB TOPPING:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 chopped toasted pecans

CAKE:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups Apple-Cider Applesauce

1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans

2 small juicy apples, peeled, cored, cut in 1/4-inch wedges

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix all the crumb topping ingredients, except the pecans, until crumbly. Stir in pecans.

2. Butter a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift the flour, soda, spices and salt into a medium bowl.

3, Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Reduce speed to low; mix in applesauce, then flour mixture. Stir in pecans.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; sprinkle with crumb topping. Arrange apples on top, tucking some into the batter. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, up to 3 days.


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APPLE-CIDER APPLESAUCE

Makes 1 ½ cups

1 pound juicy apples, peeled, cored and quartered

3/4 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if needed

Pinch of salt

1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring apples and cider to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer until apples are very soft, about 12 minutes. Remove lid. Stir in sugar and salt.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until apples are broken up and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Add more sugar, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 days.

-- "Martha Stewart's Cakes" (Clarkson Potter, $24.99, 352 pages)