Apple pie. Dutch apple pie. Caramel apple pie. French apple pie. Okay, I got it, there are about a million different apple pie recipes. (Five million, actually, according to Google.)
But you don’t see apple cake very often. Which doesn’t make any sense to me, because this thing is awesome. It’s my wife’s great-great-grandmother’s recipe. Yes, the same one we got the bread bowl from.
Pre-heat the oven to 350° and peel the apples.
I’m a bit crazy about getting every possible bit of apple when I chop them. But my wife was making this cake, and she prefers getting it done faster. So I learned a different way to chop them. Just cut quarters off the outside, leaving a square plug with the seeds in it.
Then it’s easy to lay the pieces flat, slice and dice them.
With the apples set aside, combine the oil, vanilla and sugar and mix well.
Then add the eggs one at a time and mix each one in. Or you could beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and add them all at once.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a sifter.
Tap the rim of the sifter until it’s all in, then mix again.
Stir until there are no lumps.
At this point the batter is already delicious. And you’ve got some diced apples standing by. So …
Now add half the diced apple and half the chopped nuts.
Mix carefully, so you don’t crush the apples, then pour into a greased and floured 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
Distribute the rest of the apples evenly over the top of the cake and press them into the batter. Then top with the rest of the nuts.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. You might have to hunt around to find a spot you can stick it in without hitting an apple.
Let it cool for a couple of minutes, but unlike most cakes you’ll want to try some of this hot from the oven.
Some people like to put a caramel topping on this. I like it straight.
And that’s it.
If you don’t eat this all within the first day or two, cut it and wrap individual pieces tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It does not keep for very long. Trust me on this one.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.