September 29, 2009

How do you like THEM apples?

**No TWD for me this week. Just like with the Daring Bakers, it's just too hard to leave time open for recipe challenges during the High Holidays. The following recipes are from last week. But, I'm back and ready to bake now!**

So there we were, with over 4 lbs of lovely Macintosh and Honey Crisp apples, straight from a New England orchard. Alex immediately requested apple pie, but I was looking to get a little more creative. Besides, we had plenty of apples to spare in case one of my experiments didn't work!

The first order of business was homemade applesauce. This is so ridiculously easy that I don't think I'll ever buy applesauce again. Chop, boil, mash, eat. I think you can handle that! I looked over a few recipes online, but they all had the same basic components. I cut way back on the sugar, since these Honey Crisp apples were sweet enough, and I left it chunky by using the potato masher instead of our immersion blender. I doubled the recipe and froze half. I think I'll wait until Hannukah to serve it with some potato latkes!


Ingredients: (I doubled everything)
4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar (I only used a few tablespoons. I think 1/4 cup would be way too sweet)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: other spices - nutmeg, cloves, allspice

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

My other apple kitchen creation comes from one of my favorite blogs, Ezra Pound Cake. Rebecca is a talented writer and kitchen goddess and her photographs always make me drool. I've had an intense craving for chai ever since the leaves started to change, so I knew this recipe was The One as soon as I saw it. She got the recipe from the Oregon Chai website.

Chai Apple Coffee Cake

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup chai tea latte concentrate (recommended: Oregon Chai™ Tea Latte, Original)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Apple Topping:
2 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chai tea latte concentrate
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch baking dish, 9-inch cake pan or a small bundt pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add butter and mix until crumbly, with your fingers or a pastry blender. In a separate bowl, mix together chai concentrate, egg and vanilla. Blend into flour mixture, spoon the mixture into the pan, and spread it with a spatula or knife.

For the streusel, place 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a small bowl. Pinch together with your fingers until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the apple topping, sauté apples in 2 tablespoons butter for approximately 2 minutes in a small saucepan. Add chai concentrate, cover and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Spread the streusel on the batter. Spoon apples over the top, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Cool cake on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


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The chai apple cake sounds to die for and I've been wanting to make my own applesauce.