People in upstate New York are absolutely wild about their apples. It’s a wildness bordering on religious conviction, and they can rattle off the differences in varieties, which apples work best for which recipes, and how many acres of orchards have been lost to development. They also feel a sense of ownership of all things apple, even though New York does not hold the title of largest apple-producing state (that would go to Washington). Unsurprisingly, there are many variations on apple cake floating about the Northeast, each with a particular family-inflected nuance. Our version is hearty. It is moist, dense, lightly spiced, and covered in a slightly sweet caramel frosting that gives the cake a homey county-fair feel. This cake is pure fall. It is dedicated to the apple lovers of New York, and I can say for certain that I have never made it before August or after January.