Monday, November 16, 2009

Apple Cake

The treats I've made of late have been quite indulgent, especially the Oatmeal Fudge Bars, so I thought my next treat should be something a little healthy. I found this simple and delicious gem that uses apples, walnuts, and whole wheat flour.

Tart green apples with the skins left on are recommended. I used Granny Smith, which I happened to have on hand, but I think any tart cooking/baking apple would work well. This recipe calls for buttermilk, and I rarely, if ever, have fresh buttermilk on hand. I was also out of powdered buttermilk, so I used sour milk as a substitute. To make 1 cup of sour milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice to a glass measuring cup and add milk to a total volume of 1 cup. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes before using. I also used canola oil instead of vegetable oil and omitted the brandy/rum, although I probably would have added it if I had it on hand. This cake is moist and delicious plain, so I opted not to frost it, although it would be delicious with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cake
from The Joy of Cooking

Makes one eight-inch square cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan or line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl, pinching out any lumps in the brown sugar:
1.5 c. all-purpose flour or 1 c. all-purpose flour plus 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. grated or ground nutmet
1/2 t. salt

Add and stir together until smooth:
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
(2 T. rum or brandy)
1 t. vanilla

Stir in:
1 c. chopped apples
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Serve warm, plain or with vanilla ice cream or let cool completely and frost with white or butterscotch icing.

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