October 16, 2009
Credit for today's recipe goes to Heidi Swanson at www.101cookbooks.com.
season darkens and the weather continues to chill, I find myself looking for more and more excuses to warm up with
a hot cup of tea or coffee. I’ve found one of the better excuses for this kind of break is the need to test,
or re-test, a home-baked treat. But what to bake?
thanks to the wonders of cold storage, these sweet and crispy fruits will be one of our standbys for local
ingredients after the harvest. Yup, in our future I see stewed apples and baked apples and apple salad and dried
apples and apple tarts and apple sauce and apple brown betty and apple… oh you get the idea!
style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> So I want to find
another great way to celebrate the local fruit that has done so much to put our valley on the world map. Now, I
grew up in rural Massachusetts, and we were no strangers to family owned apple orchards. I have vivid memories of
spending a crisp, sunny afternoon selecting what to my eyes were the most perfect apples in the world.
style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"> We’d take a
big paper bag of fruit home and my dad would have me help bake up several apple pies. The best of them had
walnuts, cinnamon, and a cup or so of dried currents for an extra sweet kick. Lemon juice keeps the apple slices
from browning in the mixing bowl. We were a lattice-work top pie crust family. Oh, and being a New England boy I
like a nice slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese with my apple pie. And don’t you dare wrinkle up your nose
until you’ve tried this masterful combination for yourself.
Perry’s trick to make the pie dough with ice cold vodka, which will make the dough easier to work with and
will steam off and make the crust even flakier in the oven.
elementary school and craving an old-fashioned apple cake. This is a delicious, simple cake that traces its roots
back to the earliest American settlers and even further, back to the old country.
incredible food blog 101 Cookbooks. Swanson’s Unfussy Apple Cake is a masterpiece of understated cooking.
And I particularly like her inclusion of buttermilk to make things more interesting. Of course, I couldn’t
leave well enough alone, so I had to make a few alterations to the recipe.
-2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or just plain old unbleached all-purpose flour if it’s
all you’ve got
-1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
"margin: 0in 0in 0pt">-a dash of nutmeg
/>-Swanson’s original recipe calls for 1/2 cup dark Muscavado sugar (or other fine-grain natural cane or
brown sugar), lump-free. I’m opting for conventional brown sugar in my version
-1/2 teaspoon fine grain
-1 cup buttermilk, which is the tart milk left behind once the butterfat is removed
/>-1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
-3 tablespoons large grain sugar, like the big crunchy stuff used
on holiday cookies
style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">-1/2 teaspoon each of lemon and orange zest
chopped local hazleuts
middle. Butter and flour (or line bottom with parchment paper) one 9-inch square baking dish or tart
juice of one lemon. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt in a large
bowl. And in a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs, almond extract, and the buttermilk. Whisk in the
melted butter. Add in the citrus zest, currents, and chopped hazlenuts.
Now drain the apple, shake off any excess water, and fold the apples into the cake batter.
style="color: black">Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges. In a small bowl,
mix together the minced ginger and the large grain sugar. Sprinkle the cake with most of the sugar mixture. Bake
for about 20-25 minutes or until cake is just set and a touch golden on top. Swanson says she prefers her version
of this cake slightly inderbaked, for more moisture. It will continue to bake a bit even as it cools down out of
out of the park, let’s top it with some fresh whipped cream. I like to spruce up my whipped cream with a
little dash of vanilla and sweetener, like maple syrup. For this apple cake I think we can really make a kick ass
apple brandy or calvados whipped cream. Just mix up 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of superfine
sugar (or a bit less maple syrup) and 2 tablespoons of apple brandy (or a big dash if you cook imprecisely like I
killer rich and boozy topping. Oh yeah, this will help get us through the cold and dark season ahead of us. I hope
today’s dessert recipe has inspired you to get in there and keep seeking out what local ingredients you can
find all winter long. And I admitted on an earlier show that I’m not all that confident at baking, and we
can always challenge ourselves to learn something new in the kitchen.
been cooking. Send me any questions or comments to my email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, sisn’t I have a hot cup of tea somewhere? Cooking local in the KOHO
Kitchen, I’m Isaac Kaplan-Woolner.