Friday, September 12, 2014

September, Apples, and Cakes

When the first cool night shows up in September, I start craving apple cake.  My mama always made apple pies, and if I ever learn to make them like she did, I'll post it here.  I cannot remember her making apple cakes.  After Hub and I married, I learned that his mother was an expert at making apple cakes, and I was instantly hooked.  Of course, this cake can be made all year long, but they just seem better in the fall. Here's how I do it.

You will need 1.5 cups of vegetable oil, 2 cups white sugar, 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring, 2.5 cups plain flour, 1 cup pecan pieces, 3 cups finely chopped peeled apples (Granny Smith if you have them), 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Grease a Bundt pan and turn oven on at 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar, oil, and eggs together.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together; add to the egg mixture.  Mix.

I buy pecans whole; I think the chopped ones dry out faster.  To chop them, I put a cup of pecans in a zip lock bag (leave it open).  Then I get a wooden dough roller and beat them mercilessly.  This is good to do after a bad day at work; it seems to get some aggression out.

 These are the way I like them; chopped but big enough to show up in the cake.  I have tried to chop them in a food processor, but they always get too fine.

Add the chopped pecans, 3 cups of chopped apples, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon real vanilla flavoring to the mixture. Mix on low; batter will be thick.

Oh, yeah! Perfect.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. I shake mine to even out the batter, just another way to get rid of aggression.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Before it is finished cooking, the whole kitchen smells like autumn. When it is done, remove from the oven and let it sit in the pan until it cools, 10 or 15 minutes. Turn onto cake plate.

If the stars line up correctly, it will look like this.  Also, if you are making it for your family, it will look like this.  On the other hand, if you are taking it to a pot-luck dinner, one side will probably have a huge hole.

There are various toppings for this if you want one.  Sometimes, I pour caramel ice cream topping around the top, or a confectioner's sugar glaze to pretty it up.  The cake is sweet enough without anything added to the top, and we prefer it plain. Served with hot tea, it is more like a bread than a cake.

Fresh apples are showing up at the stores now.  This weekend would be an excellent time to give this a try.