One of the Dude’s favourite books is Apple Farmer Annie. By this, I mean it’s one of MY favourite books to read him and he likes it too. Now in the Bay Area, apples aren’t a big Autumn thing, so the other week I drove two and a half hours both ways in one day to go to Apple Hill, an apple-growing region near Sacramento. Barking, I know. But I wanted us to pick apples from the tree, to eat apple pie and drink apple cider and get a sense of Autumn.
He got a sense of Autumn.
We picked SIXTEEN POUNDS OF APPLES.
I’m working like stink to get through those things, so I made one of the recipes at the back of Apple Farmer Annie…Annie’s Applesauce cake.
(UK readers, apple sauce is apple puree. It’s a very popular snack for kids here!)
To make applesauce, I peeled and chopped my apples, steamed them until softened and then blitzed in a food processor with a healthy dose of cinnamon. To make it healthier, I used wholewheat flour and don’t think it suffered from that. However I did also top it with icing/frosting as per the recipe below. It was delicious but it was a sugar overload and I think the cake would stand alone and be considerably healthier without it.
Annie’s Applesauce cake
1/2 cup/80g butter (or marge, if you’re feeling healthy)
1 cup/140-150g sugar
1 1/4 cups/160g flour (I used 1 cup wholewheat and 1/4 cup white)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (the recipe called for allspice but I didn’t have any)
1 cup/200g applesauce
2/3 cup/100g (or a handful) raisins
- Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and spices.
- Add to creamed mixture, alternating with applesauce, beating in after each addition.
- Stir in raisins.
- Pour batter into a 9″ greased tube pan (NO idea what a tube pan is…I used a loaf tin)
- Bake at 375F (190C) for 45 mins or until browned.
- Cool and then spread with butter frosting/icing
For the frosting/icing
2 tbsp softened butter/marge
2 cups/250g confectioners/icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
- Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Add milk and stir well. The frosting should be smooth and easy to spread.
Try it without the icing for a vaguely healthy treat. Add the icing for special occasions only.