Few things are more evocative of autumn than the smell of apples cooking, warm with cinnamon. The smell that wafted from the oven when I made this made me want to pull out the fall coats (such as they are in northern California) and warm sheets. Even better, we had our first seasonal rain as I was baking this cake, and the gentle sound of the rain reinforced the feeling. Fall is here, and this cake is the perfect way to celebrate.
I mixed up the recipe a bit, doubling it as I usually do, and I omitted the raisins. Not a fan, and I didn't think dried cherries would be as good. The cake came together easily, the crust was crusty and the center fluffy, just like a terrific muffin. The flavor was delicious and the pecans made it extra special. A few ideas if you make these (Katrina has the recipe for you here):
- I like to measure the brown sugar into the bowl, break up the lumps, then add the rest of the dry ingredients
- I substituted quick cooking Irish oats since that's what I had
- I omitted the almond extract and added 1/2 tablespoon of boiled cider (which I ordered from King Arthur Flour) for extra apple flavor
- Toast your nuts for extra flavor
- Although I didn't go in this direction, this cake would be great made with white whole wheat flour replacing all or some of the all-purpose flour
- I almost added chopped candied ginger but I was afraid my tasters wouldn't like it
- Add the apples, nuts and dried fruit (if using) before all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated to help avoid over mixing
Katrina of Baking and Boys selected this recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours as this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. I haven't posted for TWD in a long time, though I've baked along. I was home from work early to the other day, and realized with a thrill that I could bake for TWD and post on time. That's what people who aren't working 12 hour days do. Note to self...come home early more often!