Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recipes from Ollie J -- Another Apple Cake

When the calendar flips to September, I automatically start thinking of baking weather. The phantom aromas of baking spices like cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon start haunting me. Despite the humidity, the thermometer, or the logic, I have to fire up the oven.

I bought a pound of so of apples as part of my Hurricane Irene preparations, and since I was spared her wrath, figured I better use them up before they went bad. I cut it close; two had completely gone to moldy mush at the bottom of the bowl.

I hadn't done a Grandma recipe lately, so I pulled out Grandma Ollie J's little yellow recipe box looking for one of the first apple cake recipes I featured at the start of the culinary exploration. You know what? I couldn't find that card. I don't know where it is.

Instead I found another Apple Cake recipe, calling for more apples. A perfect way to use up supplies, and to take to the office to start up another school year.

Apple Cake
1 ½ cup oil
(olive)
2 cups sugar
(white)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
(added another teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour

Add and blend well

3 cups peeled and chopped apples
½ cup nuts (used some of the last of the NC/Grandma Ollie J family farm pecans, frozen since 1996, for a bit of authenticity)

Bake 350 degrees
50-60 minutes

Here's another instance of the recipe not telling us what size pan. With all these ingredients, it's fairly obvious that it needs to be a 9x13 pan. As for the cooking time, even through the oven had been pre-heated at 350 for over 2.5 hours thanks to the other two batches of brownies and cakes I made that afternoon, it took longer than 50-60 minutes. At the prescribed time, it was still "soupy" in the middle. I kept cooking it at 10 minute intervals until it was firm-ish, probably another 20-30 minutes. Then I turned the oven off and let it set for a bit before I transferred it to wire racks to cool over night.

For a gourmet topping, before I started baking it, I liberally garnished the batter with sugar crystals for a nice crunch.

We'll see what the office taste testers have to say. As of this writing, I don't know which office is getting it. I'm taking three pans of treats to work. I.T. is definitely getting something, but I don't know who is getting this Apple Cake.

Pardon the bad cell phone photo.

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