Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apple Cake

I've been on quite an apple kick since our trip to the apple orchard. Some recipes have worked out and some have not (like apple nachos). This apple cake received positive reviews when I brought it with me to Game Night, but I think there are things I could have done better. I feel I should have used my electric mixer rather than stir the batter by hand, for example. 
I had some DVDs of Dark Shadows from the library that I wanted to watch (this is October, and a spooky old soap opera about ghosts and vampires is pretty much required viewing), so I set up peeling and slicing the apples in the living room at the coffee table. Sawyer was extremely upset by this. He has decided that the coffee table is his personal sleep spot, despite the two cat beds on the floor, two chairs, and couch. He also wants to eat whatever the people are eating, so he kept circling me, hoping to steal a bite of apple. He was not lucky that day.

Here is the recipe that I was trying to follow: Dutch Apple Cake. I feel like three apples was a bit much, but I also changed how I put the apples into the batter. Here is what I did.

Since the apples were a little soft, I cut them into rather small pieces that were not really crispy at all. I did manage to coat them in 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, rather like I remember doing when I was younger to make apple pies. Putting that aside, I got out another mixing bowl and mashed together 2/3 cup of butter, 1 cup of sugar, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. When that was thoroughly blended, I mixed in 2 cups of flour and a dash of salt. 

Here is where I deviated. The recipe says to pout the batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan, then "push apple slices vertically into the batter." That was not going to work for me since my apple slices were so tiny and flimsy. Instead, I put a thin layer of batter in the pan, a layer of apples on top of that, another layer of batter, then more apples, then more batter, ending with a later of apples and put it in the over for about an hour and a half at 300 degrees F. 
I had at least an apples worth of slices that didn't fit, so I just ate them with a fork. Delicious! I love apples with sugar and cinnamon. 

As I said above, the apple cake was positively received. It was thick for a cake (the electric mixer would have made it fluffier, I think), but not like a banana bread either. The flavor was good. I had leftover slices warmed with melted butter for breakfast over the next couple of days, though it was also good cooled. This is an easy recipe that doesn't require many ingredients you wouldn't have already stocked in your cupboard if you ever bake at all. And this being apple season, you should have no trouble obtaining any variety of your choosing. My apples were Macintosh because they are one of my favorite apples. (My absolute favorite is the Pink Lady. Mmm... Like eating candy.) 

So I was recently unpacking more boxes from our move and came across my old digital camera. I am betting it takes better pictures than my phone, so hopefully starting in November I will have better photos for this blog. I actually have my updating schedule for October complete, so all of those pictures have already been taken with my phone. It's not usual that I am this organized, but with half a bushel of apples to work with on top of regular cooking for dinner and such, I have been very busy! 

October is always a very busy month for me, too, between spooky Halloween festivities, Fall exclusive activities, and my birthday (which I share with my niece, so double the fun). October is also a difficult month since the anniversary of my father's death is the day after my birthday. (We like to die on or around holidays in my family. I'm hoping for Halloween myself. Or American Thanksgiving. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are already taken.) Luckily, I have a lot of friends who also share my birthday month, so we tend to keep it upbeat and festive.

Anyway, I hope between this cake and last week's nachos, I have inspired someone out there to go apple picking and have fun experimenting. Baked apples and homemade applesauce are great - especially with cinnamon! - but there is so much more you can do with fresh apples. Have fun and happy Fall!

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