Comfort Me with Apples
My family and friends all get a big hearty laugh over some of the new and different things I’ve tried since Ryan and I have been together. From camping and canvassing (political telemarketing) to vegetarianism and cooking, my world has expanded quite a bit in the last four years. Someone once told me that you become a better version of yourself – the person you want to be – when you find the right person and I have to admit, at least in my experience, there is definitely some truth to that. I still love my gossip and fashion magazines and my credit cards still buzz in my pocket when I walk through the mall, but I like to think I’ve evolved a little. I also like the fact that I’m writing again – something I have always loved – and I even tried running (on a treadmill only). You just never know what new adventure awaits.
For some reason, the Fall season always brings out this optimism in me. For some people it is New Year’s, for me it is when the leaves change color and pumpkin flavors abound. My brother and I grew up about three miles from an orchard, yet somehow we only jumped off of haystacks. Never picked one apple. Today, one of my most favorite new Fall activities with Ryan is apple picking. While we haven’t embarked on any apple picking this season yet, I did hit a local fruit stand for some crisp, delicious apples.
But what to do with these apples? At first, I thought I’d save them for our anniversary dinner on Sunday (six whole months), but then I decided on a different dessert for that meal. Then we received a call from friends in our building inviting us over for dinner tonight. The prospect of finding new couple friends at this stage in our lives, let alone ones who actually live in our building makes me giddy. Of course, the fact that they have an adorable baby, little Lucy, doesn’t hurt either. So I thought Apple Cake. I haven’t made Apple Cake in years. In fact, the last time I did my grandmother poured milk over it because it was “too dry.” Well, it is a new kitchen and new outlook so I’m jumping back in. I’ve probably mentioned that Apple Cake is one of my favorite food memories from my best friend’s house growing up. No one – and I mean no one – made a better version than Mrs. Long. But I’ll give it a shot.
*Tip: Since I’m still a nervous baker, I usually make a mini version of what I’m baking in a small ramekin so I can test out the final version without cutting into my tart or pie.
This recipe comes from my favorite food blog – www.smittenkitchen.com. This is her mother’s recipe. This is a quick, easy recipe and according to MY mother “the right apple cake recipe” because it contains orange juice as ingredient. Thanks mom.
Mom’s Apple Cake
6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.