Fresh Apple Cake

…and today is Fight Back Friday!

It’s been particularly interesting – this whole food thing – during this season of my life when I’m allowed to eat or drink NOTHING. The fact of the matter is this: I love food. I also love drinking – my big addiction? Tea. I drink – normally, anyway – a boatload of tea daily. Mostly green tea – it’s a wonder Starbucks and Tazo haven’t folded during this six week NPO venture of mine!

At first it was pretty difficult for me to even be near the end of the house where cooking and eating was going on. But now that I’m four and a half weeks into my NPO experience, I’ve found some – well, I guess it’s relief – in getting into the kitchen and preparing things for my family.

A couple of weeks ago was when I got my feet wet with this. We had a family birthday party at our house, and being that we’re flat broke it was determined that we would make desserts for the event. Not like I can’t do that – I do have a degree as a professional baker, after all! It’s just that I don’t bake all that much anymore. I really do enjoy it when I finally break down and do it – but honestly, I love cooking – hands down – exponentially more.

One of the desserts that we prepared for that family birthday party is one that my Mom made for years and years. She would only make it when the new crop of apples came in – so it was always a fall treat. I think as a kid I thought it must be really hard to make since she only made it on rare occasion – but the truth of the matter is that it’s a total breeze to throw together – and the result is so wonderful, it’s a little bit criminal to restrict making it to just one season!

So let’s get baking!

Here’s what you’ll need: apples (these are from my uncle’s hunting partner, whose family owns a farm in Hood River – we are the fortunate recipient of apples, pears, plums – all sorts of wonderful fruit from their farm!), I’m using pecans this time cause it’s what I have on hand, sugar, eggs, oil, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon. That’s about it.

You need 4 cups of diced apples. Being the lazy girl that I am, I pulled out my handy dandy apple corer/peeler and went at it. I love this thing – it’s a total breeze to process apples in no time at all.

Dice the apples and put them in a medium sized bowl.

Now, dump the sugar on top – yep – all 2 cups worth.

And then mix it in thoroughly – you want every last little bit of apple coated. It’ll look something like this:

Okay – so set those apples aside. The next part I do in my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup.

I should just interject here that I’m a really lazy baker. I almost always use my stand mixer for everything. I’m just not into doing a whole lot without it. But this recipe is so easy; it’s a waste of effort to pull out the stand mixer.

Okay, crack the two large eggs into the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, using a fork beat them pretty well – you want them pretty well blended. And yes, this is the same measuring cup that I measured my apples into – so you do see some apple residue on the side of the measuring cup. But who cares, right?!

Now I rough chop the pecans – I don’t want any huge chunks in there, this is pretty much what they’ll look like:

Add them to the egg and mix thoroughly. (Aren’t those eggs beautiful? The color on them is just gorgeous – our girls are such great layers – it’s just so fun to cook and bake with their eggs, because stuff is just so much better with them!)

Now add the 1/2 cup of oil and vanilla. By the way, I prefer the Safflower oil – it’s got a really neutral taste, and is so much better for you! Now blend everything together thoroughly.

Okay – now that you’ve got that all together, you’re gonna dump this on top of the apples. And, of course, you’ll want to mix it completely.

Here’s what it’ll look like when it’s all mixed in.

Okay – so just set the apple mixture aside.

Now it’s time to sift together the dry ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons each of baking soda and cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt. When I have to sift salt I opt for sea salt as opposed to Kosher – the Kosher won’t fit through the sifter. I always sift using a strainer and over one of my flexible cutting boards. They’re great for this sort of thing!

Once you have everything sifted together, transfer the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Now add the apple mixture to the dry ingredients.

Mix thoroughly – but don’t overdo it. Everything will be moistened and incorporated, but you don’t need to beat it or anything. Takes maybe a minute to get it to just perfect.

I’ve decided today to bake these as muffins and mini loaves. I’m putting together a thank you package for C., my very generous nurse who gifted me with access to genealogy research a couple of weeks ago. She’s coming today to change my PICC line dressing, draw labs, and do a check-up. I figured I owe her big time! J

Note where my very favorite muffin pans came from! Yep! Sur La Table! I’m totally serious when I say they are the BEST pans I’ve got – anything that comes from Sur La Table.

Of course, grease and flour your pans. I cheat and buy Baker’s Joy spray. Love that stuff!

Here they are all portioned out:

And…

Baking at 350° F – for these, it takes about 25 minutes to get them baked through. If you bake the batter in a 9″x13″ glass dish, it’s going to take closer to an hour. Watch it that last ten minutes, though – because of all of the sugars it can go from done to slightly burnt pretty quickly.

I turn them upside down when they’re cooling. They’re so tender and moist; the top is actually the safest place to have against the rack.

You can serve them as is. Sometimes I sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar. But honestly, they’re great just plain.

Enjoy!

Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients

4 cups

Apples, diced

2 cups

Granulated sugar

1/2 cup

Safflower or sunflower oil

1 cup

Nuts, your preference

2

Eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons

Vanilla extract

2 cups

All-purpose flour

2 teaspoons

Baking soda 

2 teaspoons

Cinnamon 

1 teaspoon

salt 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

  1. Combine apples and sugar, set aside.
  2. Mix together oil, eggs, nuts, and vanilla. Add to apple mixture.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly, but not over mixing.
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for about 1 hour – until a cake tester comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool before serving.

Notes:

This always turns out better when baked in a glass baking dish. If you bake it in anything else be prepared for it to turn out VERY dark. It’s just the sugar caramelizing, of course, but if you use glass – not so dark!

You can use pretty much any kind or mixture of different kinds of apples to vary the taste and texture of this cake. They’re all delicious! It has one character with walnuts added, another entirely with slivered almonds, and yet another with pecans. There’s lots of room for experimentation here!

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3 thoughts on “Fresh Apple Cake

  1. Hi Dina, I followed you over from Coal Creek amazed that you lost that much weight…..congratulations!!!! No small feat! But you didn’t do it eating these delicious looking apple cakes! They really look wonderful and I MIGHT have to try them.

    • Hi Diane,

      Actually – the kind of weight loss surgery that I had – called a Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch – is pretty darn forgiving. (See http://www.duodenalswitch.com for a good explanation.) I’ve pretty much eaten whatever I’ve wanted – with the caviot that I have to make sure to get in enough protein each day. :)

      I will say – the apple cake is lucious – and a total breeze to make. I hope you’ll like it!

  2. Pingback: Fight Back Friday October 23rd | Food Renegade

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