Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pre-Fall Baking

Today felt like Fall; you know, a crispness in the air, leaves starting to change, and the first apples were at the Farmer's Market.  I remembered the first time I took my husband, Chuck, apple picking in the Shennadoah Mountains on our 10th anniversary.  He was so enthralled that we literally came home with bushels of apples.  I made a lot of apple recipes, including many jars of apple butter.  The lodge we stayed in served up an apple dish in all their meals and one night for dessert there was this wonderfull cake with chopped apples through it.  I thought about that apple cake we loved and I chose a Spiced Apple Coffee Cake from a new cookbook I just bought, The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book: The Essential Recipe Collection for Today's Home Baker. (Sorry there's no picture; it's so new that it hadn't been placed on their website yet).  The apples I chose were a cooking apple, Gravenstein, tart and firm.  I would also try Granny Smith, IdaReds, or your favorite cooking apple, there are hundreds.  The recipe calls for baking the cake in a springform pan or 9-inch square.  I happen to have a Chicago 9-inch square springform pan, which works beautifully for removing the cake for presentation.  The cake was moist (it had 8 ounces of cream cheese in the batter) and not overly spicey; the recipe called for cardamon and cinnamon. The final touch was a glaze made with confectioners' sugar, skim evaporated milk, and vanilla.  I added a nice tall glass of sparkling cider and I was ready for an afternoon snack while working my crossword puzzle.  Enjoy! Posted by Picasa


  1. This reminds me of the first time Michael and I went apple picking in CA-except that our experience wasn't as successful. We went too late in the season so all that was left were these tiny little apples that looked very dirty--probably some we even picked up off the ground since the trees were pretty sparse. After driving several hours up there, we felt like we couldn't come home empty handed. So we picked a bunch of these little apples. The more I looked at these dirty apples I decided I needed to "disinfect" them as just plain water wouldn't get them clean. So I soaked them in apple cider vinegar! I thought it was pretty clever at the time. But then after smelling the awful vinegar I couldn't imagine eating those apples so I finally decided to throw them out. I actually bought cheaper, better looking apples at the local grocery store instead! Well at least we got good "apple picking" photos out of that trip and a slice of pie at a local cafe on the way.

    By the way, mom, - Michael thinks the blog looks really professionial seeing all the things you've baked!

  2. I'll have to try this when we go apple picking for my birthday in about a month (our new tradition). It's me favorite day of the year.

    We will all never stop making fun of you for the vinegar, Erin. So weird:)