Apple Cake

Apple Cake

When I was a child, we took our lunches to school. My mother always baked something so that we would have a little sweet thing with our lunch. These sweet items would run the gamut from bars, fudge, cookies, or cakes. All homemade. She made several really great cakes. Actually, all of her things were great. She was, and still is a fantastic baker. I did not get that from her. I do okay baking (getting better with time) but I was not a “natural” at it as some individuals.

In time, I may get around to sharing more of her recipes. But one of my favorites, was her “Jewish Apple Cake”. Yes, that was the name of the cake. She found the recipe in the local paper. Probably around one of the Jewish holidays. Back then, the local paper would have sections devoted to special things like that – Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, etc. and no one thought anything negative about it. It was recipe sharing based upon different yearly events. Heck, one year when the Seventeen Year Locust came to town, they printed recipes using locust. The one I remember most was fried locust as an ice cream topping. My apologies. Not trying to get you to lose your appetite. But you get my point – lots of things got printed in the paper and Mom saved a lot of recipes over the years.

In this whole “PC” world we inhabit these days – that is code for ‘political correctness’, I am not sure if I am supposed to call this what it was called all of those years ago, or just call it Apple Cake. To me, simply calling it Apple Cake takes away from what it was, a Jewish Apple Cake made during one of the holidays. So to me, it is a recipe saved by my mother for Jewish Apple Cake. Call it whatever you like.

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Filling: 4 apples, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Batter: 3 cups flour (all purpose works fine), 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 7 tablespoons orange juice.

Peel and chop the apples, add cinnamon and sugar, stir to coat apples. Set aside.

Mix all other ingredients for batter. Grease a tube pan. Alternate layers of batter and apples. Making sure to put batter on the bottom and apples on the top. Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending upon oven at 350 degrees.  It is done when a butter knife comes out clean.

Notes: I use a stoneware bundt baking pan. I grease and flour the pan before filling and it bakes for about 90 minutes in my oven in the stoneware. If using organic apples, I do not peel them.

This cake is one that I feel tastes better the second day. If you can wait that long to cut it. If not, it is great for breakfast, snack with an afternoon cup of tea, or dessert after dinner. No matter now you slice it, it just tastes delicious.

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you will give this recipe a go. If you do, please let me know how you liked it. It checks all of the boxes for me; not a lot of ingredients, super easy to assemble, and super tasty.

Vintage Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I was clearing out a cluttered drawer and came upon an envelope containing handwritten recipes from my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother…

Great-Great-Grandmother Grace and Great-Grandmother Mary Lilia (Maysie) at the farm.

My Great-Grandmother was born in the 1880’s on the family farm in St. Mary’s County,  Maryland. She was born into a world of no electricity, horse power, trains, and steamer boats as the only means of transportation. An uncle ran contraband to the Southern army from the pier at the back of the property. Planes, moon walks, and microwaves were invented during her lifetime. As a child I was so in awe of someone who had been alive to witness so many inventions and technological advancements. She came from a period in time where some of the inventions could not have even been considered. Her father was the first doctor in the area, and as late as 2010 his portrait hung on the wall of the local hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland.

My Grandparents, John and Jane.

 

 

My Grandmother, though not a child of the Depression, had many stories to tell about it. The second World War followed on the heels of the Depression. She was thrifty. She married my Grandfather in 1937. Seventy years later on the anniversary of their wedding, I would marry my husband in remembrance of them. They were two very special people in my life. They contributed a great deal to who I am as a person. I am grateful for their influence, thankful that I had them in my life.

Back to the recipe…

It was handwritten on a piece of paper that had thinned and faded with age. I know the handwriting of both of my grandmother’s and do not recognize the hand in which the recipe was written. So I am not sure who would have cooked a pineapple upside-down cake. Pineapples were initially canned in the 1880s, however they were made popular and became more common place 1903 by James Drummond Dole. I do know that my Grandmother would make pineapple upside-down cake for me – it was one of my favorites to eat, but she would use a box cake mix. Or, I should say she taught me to make it using a box mix. She may have forgotten about this long ago written recipe, or just found it easier to use a box mix than make it from scratch. I don’t know. What I do know is now that I have this recipe, I am going to see what one of my favorite cake tastes like when made from scratch. Yes, I do know I could have found a recipe for the cake online, but this recipe was found among my Grandmother’s things. That makes it more special than any recipe I could “google” these days. Besides, it specifically is cooked in a cast iron skillet. One of my favorite ways to cook.

Recipe

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

Pineapple slices

Melt butter and brown sugar together slowly in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Allow to cool some before placing sliced pineapple rings in bottom of the pan.

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

3 eggs separated

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons pineapple juice

Beat sugar with egg yolks until light and fluffy. Alternate juice and flour into sugar and yolk mixture. Add baking powder, and fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour into pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until done. Turnout, bottom upward and serve with whipped cream if desired.

If you decide to try this vintage recipe, I sure hope you will stop back to let me know how you fared. As always, thank you for visiting the farm today.

 

A Glorious Day

I am Rejoicing.

This morning as I made my way to the barn, I noticed something. I noticed that I was not bracing against the weather, I noticed that although cold, it was not frigid. The sun was shining brightly and my soul was happy. I never take winter days like this for granted as sometimes they are hard to come by.

I am a “summer” girl. While I appreciate what winter brings: frozen precipitation which helps the garden and the ground, freezing temperatures which kill pests like mosquitos and flies, and natural cold stratification necessary for nuts and seeds to grow, I thrive in the warmer temperatures. My body responds better to warmer temps (Vata dosha) and I am energized by them.

Today, as I noticed how wonderful the weather was a thought immediately came to mind. “This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 KJV. I am not a religious person by nature, but this verse continued to echo through my mind as I performed the morning barn chores. I was taken aback by how glad my heart was as I was feeding and doing some cleaning of the barnyard area.

Back in the house the verse continued to be front and center in my thoughts. Not a nagging, but a celebration of sorts. As I prepared to work on today’s post, I was compelled to take a random photo of the outside – the voice now “screaming”, “This is the day that the Lord hath made!” REJOICE! And be GLAD!

I am very glad, and very thankful for days like today. Just a random winter day. The sun is shinning gloriously over the farm and I am going to make the most of this blessing. The dogs and I will walk the property, taking in the sunshine and fresh air. We will note any damage from this past week’s storm and be thankful for this winter reprieve that beckons us out of doors. I will end my post at this point as I don’t want to miss one moment of this glorious day.

Thank you for stopping by the farm today. I hope you will find something “glorious” in your day today.

 

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