Happy Halloween, ya’ll!*
*I just saw a video of Paula Dean getting hit in the head with a frozen ham and have subsequently said “ya’ll” a lot. I’ll be honest; this wasn’t the first time I’ve watched this video, nor will it be the last.
Here is a recipe for apple cake that Heidi Swanson calls “unfussy,” and she’s absolutely right. This cake is humble and beautiful with its little red flecks of apples that dot the cake. [You don’t have to peel apples for this cake, which is awesome because a. it’s a time savor and 2. the peels are so nutritious that I hate wasting them.]
Any exciting plans for Halloween? I plan on trying to stop myself from eating the candy I bought for the trick or treaters (sorry, kids, I ate all your candy!) and watching “American Horror Story” (to which, as of 24 hours ago, I am now addicted). I didn’t dress up, but I did bring a talking skull to school, and I think that makes me a reasonably festive teacher.
Back to the cake…
I used the surplus of apples from my parents’ garden, and they worked perfectly for this. Tart, sweet, and a beautiful rosy red color. You may use granny smith, but I think red apples simply look prettier in this cake. And don’t expect sweet- it’s not that sweet; it’s simple and tastes wholesome. Just what I like in a warm, cozy fall dessert.
Humble Apple Cake
2 C sweet, crisp red apples, cut into 1/4 cubes (peel on)
2 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbl baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C dark Muscavado sugar (or other fine-grain natural cane or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C buttermilk
1/4 C butter, melted and cooled a bit
3 Tbl large grain sugar
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Grease one 9-inch square or circular baking dish.
Chop apples, and put in a bowl with water and a dash of lemon juice.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined– don’t overmix. Now drain the apples, shake off any excess water, and fold the apples into the cake batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges. Sprinkle with most of the large grain sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cake is just set and a touch golden on top.
Serves about 12. Goes wonderfully with plain whipped cream or a dollop of vanilla ice cream.