I love when apple season starts. Mostly because I think the apples for sale in the market are tasteless and boring and the new varieties are way too sweet. I prefer the old fashioned apples I can get, but only once a year, at the local orchard.
Winesap, Gravenstein, Stayman. These taste like I remember apples tasting when I was a kid. The way apples are supposed to taste. Crisp, tart and sweet at the same time. Fresh. With real floral-fruit flavor that makes it seem as if it was just picked, not stored in a bin for a few months.
I don’t think of myself as a food snob who only buys at specialty stores and sneers at supermarkets. I shop at supermarkets all the time.
But apples are another story. So I eat them and cook with them mostly in the autumn when I can get the good ones. Rhode Island Greenings for pie. Winesaps and Northern Spys for cake. Jonathans and Romes for baked apples.
This week I’m thinking about Apple Cake because Rosh Hashanah is just a few weeks away and apple cake of one kind or another is always on my menu for the new year holiday.
Applesauce Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8” square cake pan. Beat the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer or electric mixer set at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the applesauce, sour cream, egg and lemon peel and beat the ingredients for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Add half the milk and beat until well blended. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been used up. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Combine the streusel topping ingredients and mix them with your fingers, a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is mealy. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan 10 minutes then carefully invert the cake twice onto a cake rack to cool completely. Turn the cake right side up to cool completely. Makes 8-10 servings