Thursday, December 31, 2009

Applesauce Cake, & Applesauce

chicken or the egg. well, i began with the cake, so there it is.

i forgot myself today as i was distracted with the lil one, who's been spending much time with me in the kitchen this week, & i used only white flour in the cake. as i sit here & begin to type, i realise my folly. ah well, what's done is done. this recipe is based on the one in the New Farm's Cookbook p.200, but i reduce sugar & oil, & usually use a whole wheat & white flour blend. this time i omitted the raisins, & placed a layer of halved strawberries on the pan before pouring in the batter.

Applesauce Cake

2 cups flour, ¼-½ cup of which is ww
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 cups applesauce
¼ cup oil
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup raisins

sift dry ingredients. gently stir in wet ingredients once the oven is to temperature, 350º. if using a loaf pan, 45-50mins. if using a 9x13" pan, 30-35mins.

here, i have a small gas oven, my first. so i bought an oven thermometer. i use a 9x13" pan at about 180º, which about 300º, for about 25mins.


two days ago, i used up some peaches in the fridge that had almost expired, plus the apples awaiting the pot. i mostly/loosely follow laurel's kitchen, applesauce recipe p. 96, but it's sort of a veggie stock philosophy. of course, this is how i cook, & bake, much of the time. hence, the 're-writing' of the recipes here. now, i've heard it's cheaper to buy bottled applesauce than to make it, but i buy into the local food concept, as hypocritical as that may be here in dubai. as well, i like to know what's in the food i make. plus, i enjoy it. besides, my home country is apple country.

here's my version...
6-7 apples, tart or sweet
fresh fruit, whatever needs to be eaten
handful raisins*, adjusted to the kind of apples & other fruit used
handful of frozen strawberries or blueberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice*, fresh
½ cup apple juice or water
½ tsp cinnamon, or to taste
pinch salt, optional

if using organic fruit, just cut it all up, throw in a pot & simmer for 20mins. mash, or if you like, & my lil one does, purée in a blender once mostly cooled. voilá!

* or other sweet dried fruit, apricots work well. since i'm in an Arab country, i think i'll try dates next time.
* neat little trick, roll a lemon, slash about 2" cut in the side, squeeze, no fuss no muss, more juice less seeds.

i like to change things up with different spices, pinch of cardamon is interesting, or perhaps simmer with anise.

btw, both of these cookbooks are classics & though i change things here & there, they are awesome books & are counted among the best on my shelf.


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