About twelve years ago, in Connecticut, we had this beautiful Fall and I couldn't resist collecting leaves to press and then, wanting to make a keepsake, I created this serving tray. Simply encase the pressed leaves between two pieces of glass, which were cut to fit this frame, and finally add handles on each end. Tonight, it came in handy to show off this unusual pound cake--Chai Tea, fragrant vanilla, and fall apples. Kelly introduced me to Chai tea; something she had started drinking while working at Rizolli bookstore in Santa Monica, California. The spices involved in Chai are my favorites and, if you don't want to use tea bags, you could substitute with cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
I remember one early Fall going apple picking with my Mom and my oldest brother's first wife, Jeanne, to her family vacation home in the mountains of Frederick, Maryland. It was a glorious day; wading in the creek near their cabin and picking apples at an orchard near by. Admittedly, we got a little over zealous with the bounty of apples and came back with a couple of bushels:) The next day we made applesauce, cake and, of course, pies. One of my keepsakes from my mother and of memories of that day, is this "food mill" with the handmade wooden plunger by my Grandpa Frank.
Vanilla Chai Applesauce Pound Cake
3-4 apples (I used a variety of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp)
2 Chai Tea bags
3/4 cup apple cider
1 T Vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp. Vanilla powder
Peel, core, slice, then, cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks the apples. In a medium saucepan, measure the cider and place the tea bags in it. Bring to a boil, then, lower the heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add the cut-up apples and place the lid on the pan. Cook another 10-15 minutes and remove the lid.
Continue to cook until most of the liquid has reduced and the apples are "starting to fall apart". You can use a potato masher to press down on the apples, but leave it somewhat chunky. Transfer the chunky applesauce, tea bags and all, to a glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla or as I did, 1/4 tsp. of Vanilla powder. Let cool completely. (The applesauce can be made the day before and chilled in the refrigerator.)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups Vanilla Chai Chunky Applesauce
3 cups All-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven 325F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a nonstick baking spray with flour.
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chunky applesauce and mix only to combine. Measure the dry ingredients in a glass bowl and use a whisk to combine. Add to the batter and mix to combine. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the center of the cake. Let cool about 10 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a serving plate. Meanwhile make the glaze.
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 T warmed apple cider
1 tsp. light Karo syrup
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and while the cake is cooling, pour over cake.
After creating one, bake up this scrumptious pound cake and serve to your family and friends. Enjoy!