Thursday, November 5, 2009
Recipe Swap Thursday: Easy Apple Cake
Growing up, I learned a lot about cooking from helping my mother and my grandmother. One of my mother's favorite cookbooks was (and maybe still is) The Joy of Cooking. When I started experimenting with making meals on my own, that was the cookbook I turned to. When I got married it was one of the first cookbooks I had.
Here's a recipe for a fruit cake that comes straight from The Joy of Cooking, and it's one of my family's favorites. Usually, I double the recipe and make two. It's a great one for dessert (yummy with ice cream on the side), but last weekend I made it for Sunday's breakfast because it's kind of like a fruity coffee cake.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
If the fruit is very juicy, reduce the liquid in the dough by at least 1 tablespoon. Sift together:
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons butter
Work these ingredients like pastry (cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs). Beat well in a measuring cup:
1 egg* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Enough milk** to make a 1/2 cup mixture
Combine with the flour and butter to make a stiff dough. You may pat the dough into the greased pan with your floured palm, or spread it in part with a spoon and then distribute it evenly by pushing it with the fruit sections when you place them closely in overlapping rows. (I usually just spread all the dough with my fingers before I put the fruit on.) Use about:
4 cups sliced pared apples or peaches or sliced unpared plums, preferably freestone blue. (They also recommend guavas; I've never eaten them so I have no idea what they would taste like.)
Sprinkle with a mixture of:
1 cup white or brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 tablespoons melted butter
(I usually only put on half the amount of topping that the recipe calls for. If I double it, I just keep the topping measurements the same.)
Bake about 25 minutes.
For Moe, I make these changes due to his allergies:
*1 1/2 heaping tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer beaten with 2 tablespoons water for one egg; 1 heaping tablespoon Egg Replacer to 1/4 cup water for two.
*I use soy, rice or oat milk (Moe's new favorite drink, and it works really well for baking!)
I've made this a lot lately because I've been buying quite a few apples from the farmer's market. I've made this with fresh peaches before, and it's delicious that way, too.
The cake dough kind of has the consistency of biscuit dough. If you're pressed for time, you might get away with using Bisquick and milk, maybe a little sugar, and calling it done. If you make it that way, leave a comment here and let us know how it turns out. Here's the finished product (with apples):