Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drowning in Apples

Cooking?  Love it.  Baking?  Not my strong point.  While cooking allows a blissful freedom to experiment with ingredients and procedures, baking seems much more confined, too many rules.  Having strayed away from my obedient days, I have wandered away from the past time of concocting confections.  However, due to having a family to spoil and holidays to prepare for, I feel it is my womanly duty to become reacquainted with this alchemistic art.  I will admit that I am a Food Network addict, worshipping such culinary gods as Paula Deen and Giada DiLaurentiis.
In a perhaps overzealous act of getting into the harvest season, I went to the orchard and bought apples.  ‘Buy local’ they cry.  Well I did.  Pecks of Honey Crisp and Macintosh followed me home from my favorite orchard, Clarkdale in Deerfield, MA (see link), and landed on the floor of my pantry and co-habitated my fridge drawers with questionable carrots.  However, I got pretty damn sick of eating apples and then the Yeti hatched and really put a damper on baking.  Now, here it is, three months after amassing a stockpile of apples, and they are starting to go bad.  Knowing the hard work it takes to grow and pick apples and that there are so many who go without food especially during these hard winter months, I couldn’t, in good conscience throw them away.  So on this chilly, almost Christmas morning, while the Yeti sleeps, I decide to fill the apartment with delicious spicy aromas and test my baking skills.  Now keep in mind supplies are limited (little grocery shopping has been done since the Yeti arrived) and half my baking supplies are here, the other half are at my in-laws.  Apple muffins? Muffin tins in Guilford.  Pie?  Not enough flour for dough.  Scour the recipe books for something.  ANYTHING.  Apple cake from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (thanks Mimi!).  Ok – not enough flour, no ground all spice, no lemon to peel, no 10” tube pan.  So here we go – I ground the last cup of oats I had in the blender to add to the flour, used nutmeg instead of the all spice, tossed the cut apples with lemon juice to prevent them from browning, and used a Bundt pan (thanks Aunt Pen for that!).  Here goes nothing…
Apple Spice Cake
2 Beaten Eggs (room temperature)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats (ground in blender)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 tbl vanilla
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (insert screaming baby after 2 cups are peeled and chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a small mixing bowl, combine ingredients through salt
2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine sugars, oil, and vanilla.  Blend with mixer on medium speed for two minutes then slowly incorporate dry mixture until just mixed.  Fold in apples
3. Put batter in well greased Bundt pan, bake for 1 hour (or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan.  When cake is fully cooled (2-4 hours) drizzle glaze on top (see recipe below).

Glaze
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tbl water
1 tsp lemon juice
½  tsp vanilla
1. Stir

Ok the judges say…the cake is a little bit dense.  I am not sure if this is from adding the oatmeal, or if it is just the way it is.  The ‘batter’ was so thick, it resembled cookie dough.  Also – I don’t think it needs the full hour, only a 55 minute cook time.  I did check it at 50 minutes and didn’t think it was done.  The flavor? I think its delish.  I would like to fuss with using some applesauce in this recipe for a little more moisture and flavor.  I can taste the oats and I like that.  I would certainly make this again.

Tune in next week to find out how the Red Velvet cake I have been asked to make for my hunny's 30th birthday on sunday turns out...

6 comments:

  1. Well, the official test has been run, Red (my hunny) tried the apple cake. Just to clarify something, my Red is one of the pickiest human beings I have ever encountered (other than one of my girlfriends). He loved it and scarfed two pieces. Direct quote "Its like apple crisp - in a cake!" insert look of wonderment and surprise. Furthermore "If it has oatmeal in it AND apples, it must be healthy, right?" Yes hunny, the cup of oil and two cups of sugar really make it a desirable recipe for The Biggest Loser cookbook. He did not think that the cake was too dense or dry. In an attempt to create a healthier recipe, I think I will experiment with using applesauce for added flavor and moisture. I am concerned that if I start baking more, the waistlines in this family may start creeping up...

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  2. Ok....I need this! I am a huge chocolate lover :) Thanks for linking up!

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  3. Sounds yummy!! "Apple crisp in a cake?" I may have to try that one. Though I ma not much of a baker, unless there's a mix. :)

    I'm visiting as part of the Winter Warm-Up. Nice to meet you!

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  4. Haha I promise it is pretty easy to make!

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  5. wow! looks yum! Thank you for linking up with us today, I am now following!

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