Apple Gingerbread Pudding Cake

-recipe courtesy Foodland Ontario;

Apple Gingerbread Pudding Cake

This warm cake has the rich flavours of gingerbread on top of apples and a caramel sauce. You could also use pears in place of apples.

4 Ontario apples, peeled and very thinly sliced
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp each salt and ground nutmeg
¼ tsp each ground allspice and ground cloves
1 cup fancy molasses
¾ cup water
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Ontario egg
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar, preferably dark

1¹⁄₃  cups hot water
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Whipped cream and ground nutmeg (optional)

Lightly butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Scatter apples evenly in dish.

In medium bowl, whisk flour with baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

In large measuring cup, whisk molasses with water.

In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. On medium speed, beat in flour in three additions, alternately with molasses mixture, ending with flour mixture. Scrape down sides as needed. Spoon over apples; gently smooth to cover. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

In large measuring cup, stir hot water with butter. Slowly pour over cake; but don't stir it in.

Bake in 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand on wire rack 10 minutes before serving.

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg, if using.