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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Same But Different

I like recipes I can play around with.  Usually you can't really play around with cakes, because well, they're cakes, and cakes rely on chemistry to work.  But this nice little apple cake, perfect for the Jewish holidays, is one of those cakes that's flexible.

While I am not a huge fan of said Jewish holidays, I do really love the food, apple cake in particular.  Maybe it's my memories of my Grandma Fannie's (yes, her name really was Fannie) apple strudel, or maybe it was that apple cake from the Beverlywood Bakery.  Who knows.

My mother, as we have established in past posts, was no Martha Stewart, but she could bake an apple cake.  It wasn't a great apple cake, but it was good enough to trot out on the high holidays.  Regretfully, her recipe is long gone.  It would have been nice to be able to play around with hers, but this recipe for Teddie's Apple Cake approximates hers in style, but is way, way better.

But I digress.  I played around with this recipe, just a little bit.  I used olive oil in place of vegetable oil, and one cup of brown sugar in place of one of the cups of granulated sugar.  I also soaked the raisins in a little Calvados.  The resulting cake was moist and sweet, and the olive oil added an interesting fruitiness.  I'm always a fan of booze, so the Calvados soaked raisins added a little something extra.

What could be bad?

Recipe:  Teddie's Apple Cake


Butter for greasing pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled, cored, and thickly sliced tart apples like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins


Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.
Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before lifting out. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

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