This was originally created as an alternative to Rosh Hashana honey cake, but is also an ideal alternative to Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie. Make the following easy recipe for Honey Praline to sprinkle on top.
For Honey Praline:
1 cup honey
1 cup slivered almonds
(You can make this ahead, and store in an airtight container. It's also pretty incredible on ice cream!)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup prepared pumpkin (not Pumkin Pie Mix)
For Honey Praline:
Combine ingredients in a dry saute pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, and making sure to prevent mixture from scorching. The honey will start to boil. Continue to cook until honey caramelizes slightly, and almonds become a bit toasted, about six to eight minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour into half sheet pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment. Using rubber scraper or back of spoon, smooth into an even layer. Allow to cool. The mixture will harden and become like peanut brittle.
When hard, break into pieces, and place into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until honey and almonds are reduced to a mixture of powder and very small chunks. Store in an airtight container.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a parchment-lined 8-inch pie tin or cake pan. Arrange the apple slices overlapping in a circular pattern into a thin layer that covers the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the cake flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the orange zest, oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, and egg on medium speed until the sugar begins to dissolve and the mixture lightens in color slightly, about 3 minutes.
With the mixer running, add the vanilla.
Stop mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle. With mixer on lowest speed, slowly add dry ingredients continuing to mix on lowest speed until the dry ingredients have been absorbed into the wet ingredients.
Stop mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle. Add pumpkin and mix on lowest speed until combined.
Pour batter into the pan you prepared in step 1. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back firmly when touched or toothpick comes out dry from testing middle of cake.
Cool in pan ten minutes, then turn onto rack, apple side up, and allow to cool completely.
Just before serving, dust thoroughly with confectioners sugar, and with honey praline powder.