October 16, 2011

takes the cake

Every year when autumn rolls around in Vermont & it's apple harvest time, I mean to ask my mother if she has my grandmother's recipe for apple cake, & every year I don't get around to it for one reason or another. Today we play our final round of croquet with friends, a festive time when the year's champion gets awarded with a traditional champagne-cork trophy, & we share food & spirits in the dazzlingly brisk & colorful autumn air. With loads of apples from our CSA in cold storage, I got a hankering to make apple cake to share with friends & savor the flavor of the season.

While I don't have her exact recipe, I do have a cookbook from my grandmother's collection which my mother gave to me, a delightfully dated ring-bound folio with a portrait of the author, a proud woman sporting elaborately coiffed hair & fantastic eyeglasses. Poring through the pages, & with a quick look online where I found a delicious-sounding, traditional recipe, I found the inspiration I needed to omit & add some ingredients to create a version of apple cake perfect for a festive Vermont day.

autumn apple cake
adapted from smitten kitchen & inspired by polish grandmothers

6 apples  I used honey crisp & sansa
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
5 Tbsp turbinado sugar
2 3/4 cups pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup  I used dark
1/4 cup spiced or dark rum, or a combination thereof
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Butter a tube pan

prepare the filling
Peel, core & chop the apples into chunks. Toss with the the cinnamon, ginger & sugar & set aside.

prepare the cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, rum, sugar, maple syrup & vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add the eggs, one at a time, until all ingredients are well incorporated.

assemble the cake
Pour half of the batter into the buttered pan. Spread half of the apples over it; pour the remaining batter over the apples & arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

make the topping
Whip the heavy cream, sour cream & maple syrup together until soft peaks form. Serve on top of a still-warm piece of cake.


1 comment:

  1. I do love a delicious apple spice cake. I wish you could send me the aroma so I could release it in the hotel room and get cozy! I miss a stove!


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