Garden’s gone but apples remain a staple


Garden’s gone but apples remain a staple

We finally had to say goodbye to the garden.

The pumpkins are harvested, and all that remains in the plot are dried vines and black plastic that needs to be pulled up. I hate to admit it, but I am hoarding a few tomatoes that are extremely overripe. I cannot stand the thought of not seeing them in the counter bowl.

Now we are onto apples. There have been a few apple pies, galettes and now a very easy apple cake. I got everything ready to quickly put together this cake, because somehow we have gotten incredibly busy. I do not know how this happens, but night after night we seem to be racing around to get everything done before bedtime. Nonetheless, the kids managed to help me for a couple of minutes each. Clay, 7, mixed some butter with brown sugar and speared it onto the bottom of the cake pan. Molly, 9, and Emma, 11, measured and mixed the batter. It is different than most cake batters, easier than ever. This is one we put in the kid Rolodex, it is so easy. Anyway, the hardest part is getting enough apples on the bottom of the cake. Slice the apples pretty thin then layer them closely. I fit two large apples onto the cake. We baked the cake for an hour, let it cool for a few minutes then inverted it onto a cooling rack so the apples are on top. Peel the parchment paper off then enjoy this moist, flavorful cake.

My children eat a lot of apples, I guess most kids do. Emma eats them with peanut butter for breakfast, Molly has cinnamon apples in her lunch box, Clay will take a whole apple anytime. I make a chicken dish with sausages and apples, and desserts with apples are at the top of the list. Even though I am teary about the tomato demise, I am happy to make a weekly Tarte aux Pommes or other apple treat.

As for the taste, this cake is sweet and very tender. Molly picked at hers a bit, but the rest of us cleaned our plates and had seconds for breakfast the next morning. Our cake did not last long, but I think it would keep for several days.

Apple Upside Down Cake

Serves 8

4 tablespoons butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

2 large baking apples, sliced thin

1½ cups flour

1 cups sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in bottom of 9-inch cake pan. Mix the soft butter with brown sugar and spread in bottom or pan. Tightly layer the apples in concentric circles on top of butter mixture.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture into flour along with the melted butter and mix well. Pour batter over apples and bake for an hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for about 30 minutes then run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Invert it onto cooling rack, peel off paper and let cool completely.

Garden’s gone but apples remain a staple

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