Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Victorian Applesauce Cake

Because I made applesauce yesterday, I just had to make
this recipe from my Grandma's recipe box!

2 cups sifted flour
1 &1/2 cup sugar
1&1/2 teaspoon soda
1&1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice
1/2 cup shortening (I use coconut oil instead of Crisco or butter)
1&1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
3/4 cup raisins
(recipe also calls for 3/4 cup of chopped dates. I didn't have any, and I don't care for them, so I used 3/4 cup dried currants instead.)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I did not add because there are nuts in the topping. I prefer them there for a nice crunch that sets off the moist, tender cake!)
Sift flour (which has already been sifted once), sugar, soda, salt, cocoa & spices into a mixing bowl. Drop in shortening (or coconut oil). Add 2/3 of the applesauce and beat 150 strokes. (I'm not a Victorian, so I used my mixer! Beat until creamy.)
Scrape bowl often.
Add eggs and beat 250 strokes. (another minute or so)
Add remaining applesauce and beat 50 strokes.
(or until fully Incorporated with your mixer.)
Add dates, raisins and nuts.
Mix thoroughly.
Pour batter into a greased tube pan. (Again, I used coconut oil)
Sprinkle topping over batter.
(Topping = 1/2 cup chopped nuts [I used pecans] and 2 Tablespoons sugar)
Bake 350* for 1 hour to 1 hour and 25 minutes. Test with toothpick after one hour. Keep checking often. Don't over bake!

As with any spice cake, the flavor improves after a day ~
but who can wait!
Not me ~ this piece is still warm!
MMMmmmm! with a cold glass of milk!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Applesauce!

Today, I made up a couple of gallons of applesauce from our
Transparent Apples.
These are the first of our apples to ripen, here on the farm, and this is my
favorite way to eat them!
Start with washing, quartering and removing the
stems and cores from the apples.

Place your apples in a pan with a small amount of water
in the bottom, so apples don't scorch.
(Stock pot full of apples and about 1 inch of water. We like our sauce thin and
runny. If you like yours thicker, use less water, but watch carefully when cooking
so it doesn't scorch.)

Let apples simmer in the water and stir occasionally.
Cook until soft on medium/low heat.
This only takes about 15-20 minutes.

When soft, put apples and juice through a strainer/sieve.

Using the jelly strainer removes the skins and any
core/seeds that you missed.
(These apples don't make chunky sauce so we do it this way.
Another time I will make chunky sauce with different apples.)

When you have sieved all your apples and the sauce is still hot,
now is the time to sweeten, if you like.
The hot sauce dissolves the sugar.
I use organic sugar. Sometimes I leave it unsweetened if I
am going to use it in a recipe, but it is just too tart
for plain eating, for my taste, without being sweetened.

I add Cinnamon sometimes.

Cinnamon adds a darker color. (Applesauce will darken anyway
as it cools and is exposed to air ~ just like cut apples.)
Now you are ready to can or freeze your sauce.
I prefer to freeze mine because I have had trouble in the past, when
I can it, with the sauce unsealing half way through the year!
So, to make sure I don't loose any of this golden delight,
I freeze it in glass quart jars.

My favorite way to eat it, however, is hot from the pot!
And even sweeter when eaten from a vintage
Shenango Sauce Bowl on Auntie Emma's
vintage picnic table cloth! ;~P
(There's a bowl waiting for you, Michele!)

(Coming next time ~ Victorian Applesauce Cake)