Monday, October 26, 2009

deb's mom's apple cake

i'm in a phase.

a rustic-cake-laced-with-fresh-seasonal-fruit phase. this summer i baked cake after cake with all kinds of beautiful fruit: blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, pluots and cherries. now that it's fall, i did a search for an apple cake recipe. that's how i found deb's mom's recipe on smitten kitchen.

it had a soft but sturdy crumb and was framed by a gentle crust. in my version of her recipe, the lemon and orange zest and the lemon juice added a tartness that really brightened the flavor. it was absolutely delicious with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. i make a dessert every week for sunday dinner, but this was the first time my friends demanded to take a piece of cake home. the slice in the picture was the only one left!

deb's mom's apple cake
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

6 mcintosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
about 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
zest from one blood orange and one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup blood orange juice (around 2 oranges)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon, sugar, zest and lemon juice.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, wisk oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.