Warm Apple Cake

 

When I came home tonight, there was a warm apple cake
Home made, with mixed nuts, that my lover just baked.
How did he know that I would need such a treat
To finish the day with such comfort and sweet?

He had gone off to bed but had left me a note
With a sweet little message that he personally wrote.
As I toddle my way to my own warm repose
Such sweet dreams will I enjoy that no one else knows.

The sweetness of mind comes from knowing for sure
That the man that I married has the ultimate cure
For the trials and frustrations that are part of the day
When he shows me he loves me in this special small way.

So I came home tonight to a warm apple cake.
I will sleep in such peace from the love that I take
Up to bed with me now. I will plan while I lie.
Cause I know that his favorite dessert is fresh PIE!

Copyright 2014, Pegg Conderman

 
Warm Apples Cake 001

 The original recipe was found in a St. Mary’s Catholic Church cookbook from Muscatine, IA printed in 1988. 

My husband adapted it and I am sharing his version below (as he remembers it).

Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter or margarine. (Cream together)
2 eggs

In a separate bowl, blend or sift together:

2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of allspice

Set aside and cool 1 cup of coffee

Dice 4 cups of fresh apples into small chunks and set aside with a little lemon juice on them. 

Topping:

1/2 cup of any kind of nuts mixed with 3 Tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of each spice used in the batter.

Instructions: 

Beat the sugar and butter until they are very creamy. Add eggs and blend well. 

Alternately add the cold coffee and the dry ingredients to the bowl, mixing them between additions. Be careful not to overbeat the batter, because this cake batter will be naturally lumpy. 

Drain moisture from the apples. Fold them into the batter. Pour into  13×9 cake pan that has been coated with grease (or Pam) and flour. 

Bake at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center  of the cake until it comes out clean.

This recipe is best served to a loved one while it is still warm with a little ice cream or whipped cream. And it is also great cold for breakfast, like Pizza!

 

 

 

 

 

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

My mother was a good, old-fashioned home cook.  She also never learned to drive.  Since we lived in the country much of the time, she knew how to make do with the ingredients and tools that were already on hand.

If she didn’t have spaghetti on hand, she would use flat noodles with Marinara, meat and cheese.  She flattened out chicken breasts with a frying pan (and worked off some frustration with her kids, I think).  A favorite recipe in our house is still a Chili Sauce that uses apples as well as tomatoes for a sweet and spicy addition to ground beef.  Mom usually had a pot of soup on the stove made out of oxtails, ham bones, turkey carcasses or whatever meat she had on hand.  (As kids, she didn’t dare tell us what was in the soup.  We only knew that it was good!)  She graduated eventually to be become restaurant cook but she still did her best work without the fancy gadgets that have become standard in many modern kitchens.

I don’t have my mother’s skills when it comes to cooking, but I have learned her respect for good, simple tools.

  • Knives should be kept sharp and safe.  A magnetic strip on the wall above the counter will keep metal knives safe, dry and conveniently at hand. These magnetic strips can be picked up at most hardware stores as they are commonly used for tool benches.
  • A good variety of large spoons, ladles and spatulas is a must.  Many can be picked up very reasonably at thrift stores or garage sales.  Watch for brand name items at a bargain.
  • Multiple cutting boards mean less chance of cross contamination.  Sterilize cutting boards regularly.
  • Old tools don’t need to be tossed out just because there is a new version, unless it is broken.  If there is room to store them, multiples can make prep work more fun!  It can become a contest between siblings or a chance to sit and visit with your spouse.  “Show and tell” works especially well with kids when they have their own tool that won’t be taken away if they are “too slow”.

Here are also a few favorite adaptations learned along the way:

  • Keep a clean pair of paint stirring sticks in the kitchen drawer.  When rolling out cookie dough, position the stir stick so that they raise the rolling pin and ensure the same thickness cookie with each cut. When the thickness is uniform, the cookies will bake evenly and you won’t end up with doughy middles and crispy edges.  If the paint stirrer gets grungy, toss it out and head to the hardware store.

    Paint Stirrers, Chopsticks and a Variety of Apple Peelers.  I am ready for making gingerbread Christmas Ornaments.
    Paint Stirrers, Chopsticks and a Variety of Apple Peelers. I am ready for making Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments!
  • A pair of chopsticks is a great way to poke nice round holes into the tops of gingerbread (and other) cookies so they can be hung with a ribbon.
  • A 10 or 12 inch Fry Pan lid can be used as a “giant” cookie cutter for pie dough. It will create a perfectly round piece of dough for the top crust.  This will give a neat edge to turn when finishing the top crust.

As you can tell, good tools are an inexpensive way to make cooking fun, social and sustainable.  If you have other tips and or adaptations that you have tried in the kitchen, I would love to hear from you.  Please share them by adding your comment to this post or contacting John at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.