It’s time again for Tasty Tuesday. On Tuesdays I typically share a recipe, a cooking tip, or some combination of both. 🙂 You can always find all the Tasty Tuesday posts by clicking on the words “Tasty Tuesday” in the menu bar above or in the list of categories on the right.
September is Apple Month around here. Apples become available around the very end of August, and we like to go apple picking at least once a year. Also, apples are part of the symbolism of Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish holiday) which is normally in the early part of this month. (Jewish holidays are determined by the Jewish calendar, which is different from the regular calendar.) Anyway, the point is that we tend to use a lot of apples around here in September, and I’ll be sharing several apple recipes over the next few weeks.
I have two recipes for Apple Cake, both of which I love. They are quite different, actually, considering how similar the ingredients are. Next week I’ll share my grandmother’s Apple Cake, which is a slightly more European/Old School recipe. Today’s recipe is a bit sweeter, and the apples are cooked first which gives the cake a whole different type of taste. This one is called “New Apple Cake” just because the recipe is newer than my grandmother’s recipe. Both recipes are delicious, I promise.
New Apple Cake
4 cups peeled, chopped apples
1 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsps lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
¹/3 cup corn starch
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (or margarine)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
¼ cup butter (or margarine)
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
[Oven temp, 350°F, 9×13-inch pan, cooking time 45-50 minutes]
In a saucepan, combine the apples, water, and cinnamon. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, or a bit longer, until the apples are soft. Add the lemon juice and stir the mixture, then add the sugar and cornstarch. Cook, stirring often until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool.
If you haven’t used cornstarch as a thickener before, here are some tips. When you first add the cornstarch (and the sugar) to the apples, the liquid will look sort of cloudy. You don’t have to stir it constantly, but you should stir it often. After a few minutes, it will start to bubble and boil, and you will feel it thicken. Keep cooking until the liquid takes on a more clear look, like colored glass. That’s when it’s done.
I don’t have a “before” photo, I’m sorry. I forgot to take one! But here’s the apple mixture when it’s done:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in 1 cup of butter (or margarine) until you end up with fine crumbs. Like these:
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add these to the flour mixure all at once, and mix gently until blended. [As a reminder, if you overmix these liquid and dry ingredients together, your cake will be heavier. Go lightly instead, and just combine the ingredients without overmixing.]
[Right around here is when I usually turn on my oven. It preheats fairly quickly, and I hate to heat it too early, especially on a warm day.]
Combine the flour and sugar. Cut in ¼ cup of butter (or margarine) just as you did above, until you end up with coarse crumbs. Then stir in the walnuts.
Putting it all together:
Grease a 9×13-inch pan. Spread half the batter evenly across the bottom of the pan. Then spread the cooled apple mixture over the batter. The goal is to spread the other half of the batter on top of the apples, but the reality is a bit complicated. I spoon the batter into small mounds on top of the apple mixture, and then spread them out as much as possible. It’s not an exact science! But it doesn’t have to look perfect, because you are going to cover it with the topping. Here’s a photo of this step:
Last thing is to sprinkle the topping over the whole thing.
Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.
Let the cake cool, and enjoy!