Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Apple Cake

This cake has a long pedigree. I adapted it from Babette Friedman's Apple Cake featured in the New York Times (2008), she, in turn, had adapted it from Daniel Rose. It's delicious, moist and freezes well, which makes it a winner in my book.  Yield: 1 cake

Equipment:
1 tube pan
mixing spoons, cups
silicone scraper 
electric mixer , mixing bowl


Choreography:
The cake has three components: sliced fruit, sugar topping and the batter. Cut up and prep the fruit first. Make the cinnamon-sugar topping and set aside and then prepare the batter. The apples are prepped with a bit of Apple Jack or Apple Brandy.  We have easy access to Laird's Apple Jack, a distilled liquor that has been made in New Jersey since the late 1600's. Laird's and local non-alcoholic cider are traditional agricultural products in our county.

Fruit: Mix the following and set aside
peel, core and slice 3 large apples (I like to mix the apples, always using one Granny Smith and then either Jazz, Braeburn or Jonamac). Reserve 1/2 of one apple and dice the fruit (for the batter)
1/2- 1 tsp  apple-jack or apple liquor.
1 tsp grated or finely diced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Sugar topping: Mix the following and set aside 
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely diced fresh ginger

Cake batter:
1-2 Tbsp shortening or spray oil to prepare pan.
1-2 Tbsp flour to dust pan.
8 oz (2 sticks) margarine or Earth Balance baking sticks or unsalted butter
1 1/3 c sugar
pinch kosher salt
2 large eggs
 1/2 tsp apple extract (optional)
1/2 tsp finely diced ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
9 oz (2 full cups) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
diced apples, reserved from sliced fruit

Procedure:
 1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees, grease and flour a tube pan.  I used a disposable pan, as shown in the photo.
2. Mix flour, cinnamon and baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. In the mixing bowl, cream the shortening , sugar and salt. Mix until well aerated and fluffy.
3. Add eggs , extract and ginger. Blend well.
4. Fold in the flour mixture and diced fruit. Blend using mixer or spatula.
5. Spread into prepared pan, the batter will be very thick.
6. Arrange fruit slices over the top of the cake. You may have enough slices for 2 layers of fruit. Push slightly into the batter.
7. Sprinkle on the sugar topping.
8. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes. Test the cake for doneness.
9.Cool completely before serving or wrap well and freeze. The cake can stand at room temperature for up to 2 days, store in the refrigerator if you are keeping it longer.
10. Slice and serve. The cake is delicious served as is, but is also superb with a bit of whipped coconut milk (pareve "whipped cream") or  ice cream .

Other fruit cakes you may like to try: Pumpkin-Orange Tea Bread or  
Parsnip - Carrot Spice Cake