I love apple season and it is here! The leaves are changing colors to red, orange and yellow and there is a crisp coldness in the air. Autumn is my favorite season of them all. I have so many fond memories of the first days of school, my mother’s apple crisp, preparing for halloween, and anticipating the winter holidays.

As a child growing up in Minnesota, we experienced a proper turn of all four of the seasons, and besides the turning of the colors and cooler air, what my mother made for dinner helped determine the season. In the Autumn months we saw squashes from the garden, sweet potatoes, meatloaf, and apples, apples, apples in the form of cider, crisps, pies, cakes, and just baked by themselves. When we bake with apples, the house fills with sweet, warming and wonderfully welcoming aromas. Enjoy this Welcome to Autumn treat and may it warm your heart and tummy.

10 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 apples, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 baking pan with light olive oil. In a pan heat 3 tablespoons coconut oil and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour into greased pan; set aside.

Peel, core, then halve apples so that you have 6 chunks of thinly sliced apples. Using your fingers, gently press apples to slide into an even row. Use a long spatual to help transfer rows of apples to the baking pan. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the next eight ingredients and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat remaining 7 tablespoons coconut oil with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; then add vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until well incorporated. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and coconut milk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter over apples in pan and smooth top. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Run knife around the edges; place serving plate on top of pan and flip over to invert cake so that the apples are on top. Cut into slices and enjoy.

*Modified recipe from Martha Stewart at http://www.marthastewart.com/312862/apple-cinnamon-upside-down-cake