The mornings are getting cooler and the air is smelling crisp! Definitely one of my favorite times of the year. The days are still warm enough for short sleeves and you can sleep with the windows open to catch the cool breeze. Perfect sleeping weather. Also perfect apple picking weather. That’s what we did today. The family headed up to Maskar’s Orchard in Warwick, NY. Jeff and I both went there as kids and as adults we try to go there every year. They grow a mess of different apples. Today we got: Macintosh, Empire, Cortland and Granny Smith. What does one do with 25 pounds of apples? Bake of course! Applesauce will be made later but tonight I baked Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes and an Apple Cake to take with us to my parents house tomorrow for our Rosh Hashanah celebration.
Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes (from Martha Stewart)
Hannah (11) picked out the recipe and helped me bake them. She did a great job! Martha’s recipe calls for making marzipan apples and a cream cheese frosting. I will probably make the cream cheese frosting tomorrow but not the marzipan apples. Who has time for that?
- Yield: Makes 2 dozen
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low; mix in apples.
- Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
- Fill lined cups halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool on a wire rack.
My Dad asked for something gooey along with the cupcakes. I thought about an apple cake and figured that I could make my standard caramel sauce to go with it. I searched Pinterest (love that site!) and came up with this. The only thing I changed from the original here was that we didn’t have any dark rum so instead I used 2 tsp of almond extract. Haven’t sliced into it yet so I can’t report on how it is, but it looks fabulous!
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 4 large apples
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 Tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8″ springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
- Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove cores. Cut the apples into chunks or slices, as preferred.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy.
- Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla.
- Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half of the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
- Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.