Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Double Apple Cake Has Timeless Appeal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Double Apple Cake Has Timeless Appeal

Article excerpt

ONE OF my fondest recollections of my college days is exchanging recipes at work. I worked part-time at the university library. Several of us happened to be recently married. On our breaks, our conversations often turned to what we had cooked for the weekend. Our boss, who didn't like to cook, complained that we never discussed her favorite topic, movie stars.

I treasure recipes from that period. Many of them have become part of my culinary repertoire. When a friend enthusiastically told me how delic ious a dish was, I wanted to make it right away, and usually I did. Those recipes were not simply filed in a shoe box and forgotten; the dishes appeared on our table often.

One such recipe is a simple apple cake, made of lots of diced apples held together by an easy-to-make, one-bowl batter. The apple morsels become very tender as the cake bakes. The cake keeps well and tastes good warm or cold. Over the years, I have come up with simple variations on the recipe. Occasionally, I flavored the batter with grated lemon or orange peel. From a pastry chef in Paris, I learned that if you mix diced apples with sugar and let them stand, the apples create a little syrup that can help keep cakes moist. I tried it with this cake and was happy with the result, and so I modified my recipe. At first I used sweet Golden Delicious apples for this cake because they acquire a pleasing soft texture during baking. Now I often use tart apples like Pippin or medium-tart ones like McIntosh, Jonathan or Rome Beauty to provide a delicate contrast to the cake's sweet taste. Sometimes I spread a honey buttercream frosting on the finished cake. An easier way to give the cake a festive look is to arrange thin slices of apples on top and to sprinkle them with sugar, cinnamon and a little melted butter. The sliced apple topping recalls a French apple tart, and the cinnamon and sugar form a tasty glaze as the cake bakes. …

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