Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Best Damn Apple Cake Ever.

So, ever since my brother-in-law, AC, got divorced a year or so ago, my husband has taken to inviting him over for dinner every now and then. Yesterday, we had a surfeit of bratwurst, so the WCM invited AC over. I sauteed a lot of sliced onion, then simmered them with the bratwurst in lager for about 40 minutes. I made my very favorite red cabbage with bacon and goat cheese, and whipped up my late mother-in-law's famous mashed potatoes. That woman was a nasty piece of work sometimes, but she made ass-kicking mashed potatoes.

So, the mind wandered a bit while I was mentally making preparations to produce this epicurian feast, and asked my consciousness what I was going to serve for dessert with this meal? Hmmm, said consciousness, how about an apple cake? You've got lots of apples to use up, why not make them even yummier with cake? Mind responded with a mental two-thumbs-up and we were all resolved that apple cake it was to be.

So here's how it was accomplished:

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees.

Then, I took a stick of butter and melted it in my medium-sized frying pan. To this, I added six peeled, cored, sliced apples, and sauteed them for about 5 minutes. Then, I added one half cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, and one quarter cup of packed brown sugar, and let this bubble away for a while - about 15 minutes - until there was a lovely cinnamon caramel sauce. I turned the heat off, arranged the apples with two forks so that there was a single layer in a rough concentric-circle pattern, and prepared the cake batter.

You need:

1 stick of butter
1.5 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 c. milk
1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice

1.5 c. flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash ground cinnamon

(See how those ingredients are separated? There's a reason for that!)

Cream the first set of ingredients together until you've got a smooth mixture. Add the vinegar to the milk. Combine the last four ingredients together in a smallish bowl. Then, you're going to add these ingredients in a round-robin fashion in three batches: one egg, stir, a splash of milk, stir, a bit of flour, stir, and keep going until you've used up all your eggs, milk, and flour. (a normal person would've said to combine, alternating wet and dry ingredients, but y'all know that I'm not normal!)

Pour the cake batter on top of the apples in the skillet and spread it out until it covers them completely. Put the whole shebang in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the top's a golden crackly brown and you can stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and have it come out clean.

Let the cake sit for about 15 minutes and try not to pick of the crunchy edges. I know, they're damn near irresistible, but you're going to have to try. Slap a platter on top of that skillet, flip it, and unmold the cake. Be careful, because the caramel on the bottom of the pan is still liquid and you don't want to scald yourself!

Let it cool all of the way - or, if you're like me, most of the way - before slicing it up and devouring with with your choice of beverage. I recommend milk, personally, but it would pair wonderfully with tea (Earl Grey. Hot. Make it so!).


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey, didja hear that?

Didja? Huh? Didja hear that?

Listen very closely, now, as you'll soon hear it again.

Wait for it...

Here it comes...


Summer vacation is here.

Tomorrow is a day where I have NOTHING to do. Nothing planned, nothing required beyond a few phone calls in the morning. NOTHING.

I'm looking forward to it.

So, how've you all been?

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