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An Apple a Day

I have a spiced apple cake in the oven. What more can I say? I could just end this entry with that.

The leaves on Sophie’s tree are turning. Many of them were pushed off during the breezy Saturday we had.

Sophie is up in her room pretending to cook with her imaginary dog friends and Asher is asleep on my lap as I type.

It’s quiet except for the dishwasher which seems to always be running these days.

My human dishwasher–Josh–has a stack of papers in his lap and a pen in his hand, but his eyes are closed. That paper must have been exciting. Only forty-two more to go.

On a pleasanter note, apples are New Jersey’s specialty this time year and I am oh so fortunate to live right around the corner from orchards and “the apple store” as Sophie calls it. From September to January, we are an apple-eating family. “An apple a day…” becomes five apples a day…per person. It’s not uncommon for me to give Soph a talking to for eating all of the apples. Yes, all ten. My firstborn could eat a dozen or so apples over the course of a day if I let her. When I imagined motherhood, I didn’t think we’d have a fruit issue. But then again, she is my daughter and I do have a thing for apples.

Which leads me to this cake. I’ve been working on this apple cake from the first snowfall of 2005. It’s gone through some changes, but I think I have a nice balance now. It is a bit on the spicy side, so if allspice is just not your thing, you could tone it down a bit by cutting out or cutting down the amount you use to 1/4 or an 1/8. Also, if you’re feeling the whole grain bug, try substituting 2 cups of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. I’ve done it and it works well. You can also substitute another 1/2 cup of applesauce for the oil, but I like to have some oil for the consistency of the cake. Use any apple you like, but try to go for a crisp, tart apple. And be sure to make nice slices of apple instead of chunks. I believe this really makes a difference.

Let’s hit the kitchen.

Spiced Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

2 beaten eggs    3 cups all-purpose flour    2 teaspoons shredded lemon peel

1 teaspoon baking powder    1 teaspoon baking soda    1/4 teaspoon salt

1heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice    1/4 ground nutmeg    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger     1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup granulated sugar    1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and sliced cooking apples

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Brown Sugar Glaze

1/2 cup brown sugar    1/2 teaspoon vanilla    1 tablespoon water    1 tablespoon half-n-half

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, lemon peel, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice.

Place the chopped nuts in the 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla with an electric mixer for two minutes.

With the mixer on the lowest setting, slowly pour in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the apples and nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour.

Allow the pan to cool for ten minutes and then remove the cake from the pan. Just before the cake is completely cool, make the glaze and pour the desired amount over the cake.

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

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