"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Adventures in Apple Picking: Apple Cake

Oh my! November is just flying by, and I have lots to write about but I've been so busy with work and things that I've not had the time. Naughty, naughty blogger.

I've got lots to write about, like my second Rolf session, books I've been reading, NaNoWriMo, and food, obviously.

One of the things I made recently was an apple cake. I had some more leftover apples left after my apple picking adventure, so I decided to find a good apple cake recipe. I found one that looked decent in one of my baking books, but it called for half butter and half shortening. I didn't have shortening on hand (also, I try to avoid using it if I can, because the consistency weirds me out) and was antsy to get underway with the cake, so I turned to the good old internet to find an alternative.

I found a fabulous recipe on Smitten Kitchen for the blogger's mom's apple cake. It looks like an old-fashioned German or Jewish apple cake recipe, and it's very easy to do. Not to mention it's amaaaaazing! Click on the link above to get the recipe and the adorable story about the blogger and her mom making the cake, as well as an awesome photo of her mom's original handwritten recipe card.

A few things that I did differently. First off, I know it can be a real pain in the ass to fill a large bowl with so many cut-up apples and then try to get them all evenly coated in cinnamony goodness. So instead, I put the apples into a gallon zip-top bag with the sugar and cinnamon and gave them a vigorous heave-ho. This got them all nice and coated and since I could keep the bag sealed, it helped prevent any possible browning.

I didn't have any nuts in the house, but I imagine that this cake would be only more awesome with some nice toasted walnuts or pecans. Some dried cranberries would probably also be very nice.

Also, I don't yet own a tube pan (though I fully intend to get one), so instead I used a 9 x 13 sheet pan. Since the batter was more spread out in that pan, I baked it for just a few minutes over one hour. You can't really get the beautiful layers the blogger did with her tube pan if you use a sheet pan, so I just sort of alternated pouring in batter and adding apples and squooshed everything together with a spatula.

The cake was so, so good. It is not overly sweet, and you can't taste the orange juice much, but it is very moist, and the spiced apples really are the star. The Ginger Golds that I used baked up super soft and tasty, so that they were nearly melting into the cake. Awesome!

This cake gets better by the day, becoming more and more moist and appley, and Jeremy and my taste-tester friends all agreed that it was delicious. I'd definitely recommend you try this. I'll be making it again with my next big batch of apples.

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