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Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Cake

Facts and myths on the history of the apple made for a very interesting read about this very popular fruit.

The unnamed fruit in Genesis has traditionally been considered an apple, the symbol of temptation.

In Greek mythology, the golden apple of discord brought about the Trojan War and consequently the fall of Troy.

Snow White’s stepmother used an apple to poison her and Isaac Newton’s legendary inspiration was a falling apple.

I may be stretching things, but it is certainly interesting to note that apples are harvested in the fall and this common thread seems to run through the apple’s history.

The “fall” of man, the “fall” of Troy, Snow White “falling” asleep and the “falling” of Newton's apple. Perhaps only coincidence?

Personally, I could “fall” for the dozens of varieties of apples available today. They’re all called apples but the colour, taste and texture of the different varieties could very well classify each as a distinctly unique fruit.

The apple tree itself has evolved from tall towering giants, (like the one in our back yard, unfortunately all tree and no apples) to dwarf trees and even trees that look like large vines. This makes apple picking easier and safer as it may prevent a bad “fall” from trying to pick the apples on the branches of very tall trees (now I'm stretching it).

Apple picking on a crisp, sunny October day has a way of making pleasurable, lasting memories.

It reminds me of all the school trips to the apple orchard I went on with my children and the excitement when their class helped turn those beautiful apples into a tasty apple sauce for snack time.

A basket or bushel of freshly harvested apples is a beautiful picture of autumn. The pages of many recipe books are filled with apple recipes that could keep us cooking and baking an entire lifetime.

I love hand written recipes and some of my favourite are those that were given to me in the person’s own handwriting.

A co-worker wrote down this recipe for Apple Cake for me many years ago. She didn’t have many friends in the company we worked for and was mistreated by many. We became good friends and one day she brought a piece of this apple cake for me.

It was so good that I asked her for the recipe. She told me that it was strictly a family recipe but would make an exception and allow me to have it.

I hardly remember any other co-workers during those years but every time I make this cake I remember Sara and the years I had the privilege of being her friend.

I’ve come across similar recipes but this one is very special to me and I have been making it for 30 years. If this isn’t “tested and true” nothing is.

If I could ask her, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I passed the recipe on to you.

Apple Cake

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 medium size apples peeled and thinly sliced


2 apples peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Grease a 9x9x2 inch square baking pan.
  2. Mix apple slices sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl beat eggs and vanilla then slowly add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  5. Slowly beat in oil.
  6. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, add to egg mixture alternately with the orange juice until batter is smooth.
  7. Spoon 2/3 of the batter into pan. Place a layer of apple filling on top of the batter then spread remaining batter over the apples.
  8. Bake in a preheated 350degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown in colour.
  9. Remove from oven place on cooling rack and cool inside the pan.
  10. When cooled, sift icing sugar over top and cut into squares or rectangles.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • To prevent the bottom of cake from browning too quickly, place a sheet of foil wrap on the bottom rack after the fist 20 minutes of baking.
  • Set oven at 325 degrees if using a glass pan.
  • Slice apple very thinly for best results and a single layer works best.
  • Macintosh or Golden Delicious apples work well in this recipe.
  • For an attractive presentation place each piece of cake in a paper muffin cup.
  • This cake is best eaten the day it’s made, refrigerate any leftovers loosely covered.

Appealing Device

When you need to prepare a lot of apples this tool does the job very neatly and with minimum waste.

Just crank the handle and it peels, cores and slices.

Cored and Wedged

One downward motion makes coring and cutting the apple into equal size wedges simple.

Spend a little extra and buy a good quality tool. Apples can be very hard and I had to replace two before I purchased this one.

The larger handles make it easier to use.

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