One of my pleasures of fall is abundance of fresh apples. This crunchy, juicy, sweet-tart relative of the rose, is available year 'round, but to me there's just nothing like an apple plucked fresh from branches, bowing heavily, with this wonderful, versatile fruit. Apple pies and cakes, apple butter, cider, jams, apple sauce, apple chutney, tarts, dumplings (and even as an ingredient in my turkey stuffing) ...oh, I love them all!! And yes, in my younger days, I was even seen sipping Boone's Farm apple wine.
To start my apple celebration, I wanted to make you this German Apple Cake. It's one of my beloved recipes from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Be prepared to dirty up several bowls as ingredients are mixed separately from others and then added, but to me the kitchen clean up is worth the effort. Apple-y, cinnamon-y goodness in a moist cake makes it all worthwhile. So perfect for a weekend breakfast sweet. Stays fresh for a couple of days when it's well covered.
German Apple Cake
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease and flour a tube pan or bundt pan (could even use a spring form pan if you wished) and set aside.
3 large apples, peeled and sliced as if for a pie
lemon juice (optional, but nice to aid in prohibiting sliced apples from browning)
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup apple juice (milk can be substituted, but use the apple juice if you have it)
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Prepare the apple filling first: Pare and thinly slice the apples (as for an apple pie). Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon but do not add to the apples. Set aside.
Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add the sugar and oil and beat for 2 or 3 minutes, until creamy in appearance.
In another, small bowl, beat the eggs until light. Add the juice (or milk) and the vanilla, mixing well. Add to the sugar and oil and beat thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients (but not the apples) and gently fold together.
Putting it all together: Pour one third of the batter into your pan. Add a thick layer of apples and generously sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the apples. Repeat layers again, ending with a layer of batter. If you really like cinnamon, lightly sprinkle the top with a little more cinnamon.
For a bundt pan or a tube pan, bake for 50-60 minutes.
For the springform pan, bake for 60-70 minutes.
I use a tube pan that has a dark coating, and sometimes my baked goods cook will cook too fast on the outside and the center hasn't had time to catch up. (Dark bakeware can cause heat to absorb too fast on the outside, leaving cakes with an unsightly hump in the middle, which is why I tossed out my dark cake tins and purchased the lighter aluminum alloy. No more humps! However, I haven't made the switch yet on all my baking pans.) I covered with a piece of tinfoil to continue baking without further browning.