Post # 361 Apple Sauce Cake

April 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 361 Apple Sauce Cake

So, apples, right?  I have a love/hate relationship with apples.  I like apples, but I’ve eaten so many of them, it’s tough to look an apple in the face.  My mom loved apples.  I think if was probably her favorite fruit.  Needless to say, we had apples in the house all the time.  About 45 years or more ago, we lived in upstate New York, and I have vivid memories of driving to Vermont in the fall and climbing apple trees and picking a bushel or two to take home.  The way it worked, as I remember, we picked four bushels and got to keep one.  So between two adults (one a Marine), and three hyperactive little kids, picking 4-8 bushels was a piece of cake.   One of my cherished memories is sitting on a branch in an apple tree and taking that first bite.  My God, is there anything better than that first bite of anything?  Your mouth has no previous taste to fall back on, so that first bite is an explosion of whatever you’re eating.  The second and third bites pale in comparison.  When it’s an apple, and it’s crisp and tangy and juicy, it’s unforgettable.

We put the apples, still in the baskets, on the back porch.  The weather was cool enough that the apples stayed crisp and juicy for weeks.  As winter set in, the apples froze and were preserved naturally.  Every time you stepped onto the back porch for any reason, the smell of those apples was strong enough to make your mouth water.  I grabbed one on my way out to whatever adventure I’d set for myself that day, and on the way in, returning from that adventure hungry and thirsty.  That apple took me places.  There was always one in our lunch bag.  I had a friend at the time and we were inseparable.  Every Saturday morning, we’d share popcorn from his house left over from the night before, and apples from my house because we had so many.

apples

For mom, there were only three kinds of apples:  McIntosh (the ones we picked in Vermont), Red Delicious, and green baking apples.  But I’ve eaten a couple of dozen different kinds since then, and have liked them all.  By the end of winter, as the apples got too ripe, we had a lot of applesauce, and apple cake, and cookies, until all the apples were gone.  Like I said, after eating so many apples as a kid, it’s hard to look at an apple now.  And cinnamon isn’t tops with, either.  All signs to the contrary.

Applesauce cake is a really good way to use up old apples.  And, as a bonus, I’m going to tell you a way to make an incredibly easy and quick applesauce, no cooking required.  Since Applesauce cake requires applesauce, let’s tackle that first.

Homemade applesauce requires apples, lemon, corn syrup, cinnamon, a blender, and something to store it in.  Chop your apples, leaving the skin on, but taking the core out.  In a blender, whiz a tablespoon of corn syrup and a tablespoon of lemon (to keep the applesauce from discoloring), and a pinch of cinnamon together for about five seconds.  Add about a third of your apples and purée.  Keep adding apple chunks until either all the apples have been processed or the blender is full.  Dump into a storage container and eat.  Easy peasy.  My ex-wife loves this stuff.  It tastes like fresh apples with a touch of cinnamon.

Applesauce cake

For the cake, you need:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 inch chunks dried apple
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 325.  Line an 8 inch square pan with an aluminum foil sling (see below.)  Spray with baking spray.  Simmer dried apples and apple cider until liquid is gone and apples look dry, then cool to room temp.  You can either purée them or leave them as chunks.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.  Use a wire whip for this; it’s easier.  In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and spices, then reserve two tablespoons for the topping.  In a large bowl, whisk the egg and salt together then add the spice mix and blend till mixed well.  Whisk in the melted cooled butter in three stages until well blended.  Whisk in vanilla and apple sauce, as well as the dried apples (either in chunks or processed.)  Fold in the flour slowly, until just incorporated, like muffin batter.  Do not over mix.  Spread the batter into the pan and sprinkle with reserved spice mix.  Bake until done, about 35-40 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into center will have a few crumbs but mostly clean.  Cool the cake completely, then remove from pan using foil sling.  Remove the foil and place cake on a plate.  Cut and serve with whipped topping and fresh or frozen berries.

The foil sling:

aluminum foil sling

Enjoy

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