Monday, August 5, 2013

Apple Cake and Giant Beans

I've been away for a couple weeks and the garden, well watered and tended by James, offered up a huge crop of Romano beans. Huge crop and huge beans. I scurried out to gather up our bounty with dreams of Zuni cafe style long braised beans in my head.
Inside the offerings were -- let's kindly say -- less bountiful. A thorough search rounded up a handful of lonely Gravenstein apples, a couple plums, butter from the freezer and milk just about to turn. I don't know about anyone else but to me that collection says "cake!"

I started by mixing up 2 sticks of melted butter and 4 eggs with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and a splash of my favorite flavoring -- bourbon. James loves the hearty flavor of brown sugar and a whisper of Kentucky whiskey seems to bring out the rich caramel notes.
To the liquid ingredients I added in 2 1/2 cups AP flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg all mixed together.
When the batter was just mixed (too much mixing makes for a tough cake) I added in chopped apples and plums along with a couple handfuls of the chopped pecans stored in our freezer. After 55 minutes in a 350 degree oven I had a beautiful golden brown bundt that made clever use of our leftover, seemingly unloved fruit. I let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then cool completely on a rack. Thanks to the new coconut oil spray I found at Trader Joe's this bundt cake practically slipped out of the pan -- removing the only anxiety ever associated with a bundt cake.
When my beautiful cake cooled I poured on a thin glaze of powdered sugar thinned with bourbon and milk.
A easy seasonal welcome home cake.

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