Friday, February 3, 2012

Caramel Apple Cake

As a teenager, I had 2 horses. The first, Sparky, was one ornery bitch and I shared her with my older sister (also an ornery bitch, but I digress). We lived at  an old farmhouse that had many apple, pear, cherry, plum, hazelnut and walnut trees on the property.

When Sparky decided the riding session was through, it was through. Her favorite trick to end said session was to run under a low hanging branch on one of the apple trees. She would knock me off and I would suspend in the air for a moment, just like Wile E. Coyote, before landing on my butt in a big, mooshy pile of rotten apples.

Fast forward 40 years.

Both the fridge and pantry are getting a bit bare, as Daniele has been taking the car to school lately. Yah, I could take the bus, but what with the arthritis and all, don't feel much like going anyplace. Or getting up off the couch, for that matter.

Gravenstein Apples
So, casting about for ways to attack that sudden sugar craving, I decided to throw a cake together.
For those poor schlubs who do not live in an area where Gravensteins are available, sorry, my heart bleeds for you. Granny Smith will suffice in a pinch.

Note: we are NOT “apple pickin' people,” we are “picking apples up off the ground people.”

Caramel Apple Cake

2 ½ c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ c butter, softened (10 seconds in the microwave does the trick)
1 ½ c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ c milk
2 Gravenstein apples, grated

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In the mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in grated apples.

Grease and flour the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so...until golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Caramel Frosting

½ c butter
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
¼ c milk
3 c powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium high and add milk. Continue to cook until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. If necessary, add a few drops of milk so that the mixture is spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake.

12 servings.

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