Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chopped Apple Cake

What do you do when you get back from a  trip and realize you forgot to put the apples that were in the fruit basket into the crisper.  I arrived home to a bunch of wrinkled apples, and not just any apples but Honeycrisp which are my all time favorite.  I hated to toss them but they were very wrinkled and felt soft.  I decided to feed them to the garbage disposal and was cutting the first one into disposal size chunks when I realized all they needed was a deep peel.  Inside they were still perfectly crisp and juicy.  After eating one of them, there were still  4 bare naked apples left.  What to do with the remaining four?  Dilemma, Dilemma! (Sung to the tune of "Traditions" from Fiddler on the Roof).  

Years decades ago I bought a cookbook "The Grassroots Cookbook" which consists of recipe collections of women from all parts of the country.  They were older gals with hundreds of cumulative cooking years between them, nice, no frills down home cooking representing each area of the U.S.  Whenever I have had an abundance of apples  I make Annie Poole's Fresh Apple Cake.

Now I don't know Annie or any of her kin and to my knowledge can't think of a soul I know from the Ozark's, but I do like her  area's recipes and the little asides about her life and family. Everything in her book section conjures images of a warm loving family centered in a kitchen smelling of one pot meals, cakes and cookies.  This cake will provide you with those same warm fuzzies plus it tastes delicious.

Annie Poole's Chopped Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup peeled and chopped apples ( about 4 medium small apples)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the butter the add the sugar beating until it is light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and then stir in the apples.  Combine the flour and baking soda and mix with the wet ingredients.  Add the vanilla and stir well.  The batter will be pretty thick.  Spread into a greased and floured (or Baker's Secret spray) 8x8 
pan.  I have used  an 8 inch round also and both work very well.  Spread the batter and bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is nice and brown and it pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Because this cake is so moist it has to cool before it is cut so put the hot pan on a cake rack until it is completely cool to the touch.  ( Who are we kidding, pull it out of the oven and plop it on a cool burner on the stovetop and save washing a cooling rack.)  Then cut into squares or wedges ( your cake pan will determine that) and serve.   I usually zap it a few seconds in the microwave just to warm it a little. I love it plain, but The Hub loves his with a little vanilla ice cream.

This is a moist light flavored cake.  Instead of spices usually associated with apple cake this tastes like vanilla, apples and butter.  I have served it every season of the year and it goes over well, but I find we like it best in cold weather with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  If you have a piece left and do creative reasoning it makes a fantastic breakfast.  Follow my logic here: apple is the fruit,  egg-protein, the flour is the grain and  butter is the dairy. See, a complete meal!

If you want a home baked cake but don't want a lot of fuss and bother this is the one for you.  And if you make it give me a call.  I can bring the coffee!

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