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December 21st, 2007

Apple cake recipe

The recipe as I got it from my mother, who got it from a woman named Pat Rushton in 1974 or so. (No idea where Pat got it.)

1 large egg
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat all these together.

Add:
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp soda
dash salt

Stir well.

Slowly add:
2 cups cortland apples
1/2 cup nuts

Bake at 350°F, 45 minutes shallow, 60 minutes deep.

Frosting:
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

This recipe can be doubled.
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A few notes:
"Shallow" = 8" by 8" cake pan. "Deep" = 8" by 4" loaf pan.

The oil-based tea bread recipes from the 1970s seem to call for too much oil. I'm not saying this from a dietary standpoint, but from the standpoint that when the bottom 1/2" of a slice is grease-soaked, there's something weird going on. I'm not sure what happened, since I know these recipes worked in the 1970s, and I can only assume that something about the ingredients changed. Does canola behave differently from corn oil? Is flour milled differently now? I tend to use egg white products; does the lack of yolk (and the yolk's emulsifying abilities) make that much difference? No idea, but whenever I see a recipe calling for more than 1/4 cup oil to 1 cup flour, I change it.

In addition, I tend to use whole wheat where I can, and to use turbinado sugar if possible. (If you use white sugar, put in perhaps a tablespoon of brown sugar before measuring out the white sugar. It'll give a similar effect.)

With that in mind, here is the recipe as I made it (it's a double batch):
1/2 cup egg white product (not Egg Beaters, but a similar product)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla (Penzey's double strength - yum!)

Beat all these together.

Sift together:
1/2 tsp nutmeg (Okay, I winged this. I just grated nutmeg until it looked about right.)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves (can't resist the cloves!)
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp (baking) soda
1/4 tsp salt

(When I sift these ingredients together, I typically end up with some bran (a tablespoon or so) in the sifter. I just dump that in too. My main concern is making sure that nothing is clumping.)

Add to the wet ingredients, and mix well.

Measure:
4 cups of sliced/chopped cortland apples (Honestly, this is a really unfussy recipe. Slice, chop, whatever works. As a guideline... If you have something that looks like it would work on breakfast cereal (roughly the size/shape of banana slices or raisins), you're good.)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Add slowly to batter.

Grease and flour two loaf pans (mine are 8.5" by 4.5"), divide the batter into them, and bake at 350°F for 1 hour 15 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick (or skewer) comes out clean.

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