I have been thinking about Thanksgiving and how small gatherings are going to be this year, in the United States. I asked myself what would make great candidates for hybrid dishes. These are dishes I define as celebratory enough for the holidays but do double duty as meals and snacks for work-from-home days and shelter-in-place days.
Apple Cake for Celebrations and Everyday
The one that popped into my head almost immediately was this apple cake, especially with fall being apple season here. Apples can be stored in the fridge and can be used for baking for some time after picking. This cake uses oil instead of butter so you don’t have to rush to the store just for a pack of butter. Also, this cake can be made in its most basic unembellished form and avoid richness and calorie-laden fattiness. It is only lightly sweet and can make you feel restrained if the confectioner’s sugar is left out.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a diet cake but it can be enjoyed as a coffee cake or for brunch because it is dense. When a cake is dense it is filling and a slice can keep you full for a few hours until say, lunchtime. Plus it is a treat to bite into a sweet chunk of apple amidst the crumb of the cake and enjoy the indulgence of that bite. Oh, and don’t get me started on the crunchy top almost like a muffin. Bliss.
This recipe can be doubled and the cake can be frozen easily.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp EACH salt, cinnamon and ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp freshly ground)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs , large, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1″ cubes (approx equal to 2 large or 3 small apples)
Confectioners sugar, for dusting
For the fancy/celebratory option:
Whipped cream or a good vanilla ice-cream served alongside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 9″ baking pan.
- Place flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl and stir well to combine.
4. Beat oil and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
5. Finally, add vanilla.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until barely combined.
7. Throw in the apple chunks and stir them in.
8. Pour into baking pan.
9. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
10. However, check at 50 minutes.
11. It is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
12. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.
13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar for a festive feel.
*Recipe adapted from RecipeTin Eats