Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11:04 PMApple cake season
Simple recipe a family favorite
By Lisa Boykin Batts Times Life Editor
I’ve made apple cake twice in the last two weeks because, quite honestly, my family can’t get enough of it!
This simple snack cake has been a favorite go-to recipe of mine for years. Funny thing though, it wasn’t until last week that I actually made it correctly.
My sister, Susan, gave me this recipe years ago. And I might have shared it in my column before, but it’s worth repeating.
There are only a few simple ingredients in this cake and very easy directions. Problem is, I never paid close attention to that first step.
After the apples are peeled and diced, they are mixed with sugar. Then they are supposed to rest for at least 30 minutes. In the past, I have left the apples resting in the sugar for as long as it took me to cut the pecans and assemble the other ingredients. In other words, not long enough.
But last week, I cut the apples at least 30 minutes before I started assembling the other ingredients. When I came back to my bowl of diced Granny Smith apples, I found a thick syrup had formed. Who knew? I know that happens with strawberries, but I had never waited long enough for the apples to form this yummy syrup.
Well, I couldn’t wait to mix that cake and get it in the oven because I knew good things would happen.
And, sure enough, the extra moisture from that thick apple syrup made my cake even better!
So what makes this cake so good? For me it’s the combination of pecans with the apples that are cut into not-too-small dices so that they retain their flavor and texture when you bite into them. And the cinnamon just makes it all magic! I also love the pretty cinnamon color of this cake.
Susan’s apple cake is delicious hot from the oven, and it’s delicious cold the next morning when you are sitting at your desk working and really need a snack!
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Susan’s Apple Cake
2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg beaten
1 cup self-rising flour*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Combine apples and sugar in a large bowl and let stand at least 30 minutes until syrup forms. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into well-greased 8-inch square baking pan (or one lined with parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for about 36 minutes.
Recipe doubles easily.
My sister, Susan Boykin Hoffman, makes this with all-purpose flour, adding 1 teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt. She uses walnuts. I use pecans.