We're almost at the peak of fall color up here in New England. We wish you could be here: bright days, low humidity, and cool nights. If every day in New England were an autumn day, everyone would live here! Winter keeps our part of the world rural. Fall makes winter bearable.
It's also apple time--and so time for us to bring out a recipe we got from Bruce's grandmother: her simple, moist, if rather plain apple cake. (But great crumb! We've also made it as a coffee cake for breakfast for weekend guests.) The recipe came to us on a small 3 x 5 card, her handwriting almost illegible. We adapted it a bit--with a better fat, for one thing--but left the method intact. We hope you'll make this apple cake soon. It'll bring New England autumn to your home. Brew the coffee. You'll want a cup (even if you live in the South and have to turn the air conditioner down to enjoy it).
- 5 large tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) walnut oil, plus more for greasing the baking pan
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (150 grams) chopped walnuts
1. Stir the apples and sugar in a big bowl until the apple bits are evenly coated; set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Position the rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 350F (175C). Lightly oil the inside of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
4. Whisk the oil and eggs in a second large bowl until creamy and light.
5. Scrape the apple mixture into the oil mixture. Stir well, then add the flour mixture as well as the walnuts. Stir just until all the flour has been moistened.
6. Scrape and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until lightly brown, until a tooth pick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 55 minutes, maybe a little more depending on your oven's calibration. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before slicing into squares.
And here's our backyard. See, told you.