Temperatures dropping and trees changing color herald the arrival of autumn. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. The way the sun casts it’s golden rays upon the earth reminds me of a Claude Lorraine painting. It’s harvest time across the northern hemisphere and everything from heirloom tomatoes to wine grapes are being picked before they are burnt by the frost. Apples are one of my favorite ingredients this time of year. There are so many varieties available and you can make a trip to Placerville about two hours east of San Francisco to pick apples and pears.
Apple Cake was calling to me this weekend. I wanted to share a recipe that is very simple and you get to choose the shape of the cake, from bundt to loaf pans work nicely.
- 1 1/2 Cups of flour
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 10 1/2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
- 4 Cups of Coarsely Chopped Apples (approximately two large apples)
- 3/4 Cup of Cranberries
- 1/2 Cup of Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Paste
- 1 Egg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Thoroughly grease and flour either a loaf or a bundt pan.
- Beat egg and sugar together until thoroughly combined. Add the melted butter and vanilla paste and mix until combined. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet until well mixed. Fold in the apples, cranberries and walnuts until completely distributed. Pour the batter into the baking pan and distribute evenly. Make sure to get every last drop of batter from the mixing bowl with a spatula.
- Bake for 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert pan to remove cake.
- Peel the apples then quarter. Remove the core. Slice each quarter into thirds and then slice across the three slices into pieces 3/8 to 1/2″.
- Toast the walnuts in the oven at 325 degrees for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool before chopping.
- To gild the lily, spoon some caramel sauce over a slice of cake and then sprinkle a few of your favorite salt crystals for good measure.