I know it is not officially autumn yet, but school has started, the yummy apples are in the markets, and the cold mornings have already begun.
There are so many apple recipes in my collection, but this particular recipe brings back fond memories of this time of year. This recipe is my mothers, with slight adjustments. She made this just after school had started for us one year. We came home in a snow storm, and this cake was warm out of the oven just waiting for us. I remember how nice and warm the house smelled of apples and cinnamon, and the feeling of content it brought to me. I think that particular day, and the memory of that scent is why I love the smell of apples in my house still.
There were not many days like this one — my mother worked and was rarely at home when we got home from school, so the memory of this day always brings a smile to my face.
The recipe calls for raisins, but I dislike them a lot. She didn’t use them either, actually, and used dried apricots. I’ve tried various dried fruits in this recipe, from dried apples to cranberries, but apricots seem to me to be the best.
Fresh Apple Cake with Butterscotch Sauce
2 Cups Sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sliced apples, peeled and cored
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup raisins, optional *see note
Mix together the sugar, egg, oil, vanilla until incorporated, add cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the flour, and mix thoroughly. This batter is rather thick.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan – 9×13. Bake at 340 for 45-55 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the cake pan.
- The raisins are optional — I love to substitute the raisins for dried apricots in this recipe. It just fits together very well.
- A general rule when baking — don’t use butter to ‘grease’ the baking pan. If you do, the moisture in the butter does not allow for a good set to the base of the cake.. ie, it never forms a crust. Use something like Crisco, or some other sort of vegetable shortening.
- You can use walnuts in this recipe instead of pecans, if you cannot get them.
- This cake is fantastic with a warm butterscotch sauce — see below.
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the sugar, syrup and butter and cook, stirring constantly over a medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a full boil. Stop stirring and boil for exactly 1 minute more.
Remove from the heat, without stirring!!! and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a second bowl, combine the milk, baking soda and vanilla. Stir into the the slightly cooled sauce. Serve warm. Allow to cool before storing in a jar. To reheat, place the jar in a bowl of hot water until the butterscotch has warmed through. You can also use a microwave, use a low setting and heat slowly.