Sunday, October 26, 2014
Aunt Ruth's Apple Cake
I have a confession to make. While this apple cake recipe originates from someone who is technically in my family, she is not actually my aunt. In fact, I've never even met her. Ruth was my cousins' great-aunt. At least, I think she was. Maybe she was their regular aunt. All I know is that everyone always gushed about Ruth, including my own grandparents, who apparently loved Ruth more than they cared for their own daughter-in-law. Ah, families by marriage.
Anyway, it well well-known in my family that this Ruth person had a knack for cooking in the kitchen. So when I saw on Facebook recently that a friend of my cousin's posted Ruth's apple cake recipe (with permission from my cousin, of course), I'd barely scanned the ingredients before I was off the grocery store to make this thing happen before the recipe disappeared or something. Ruth's apple cake! I wasn't even quite sure what apple cake was, but I was ready to make it appear.
I had the typical meditative joy I get from baking a long-favored family recipe. Ahh, the apple chopping, the egg beating, the flour sifting. But then. Then I stuck the thing in the oven and within a few minutes, the kitchen smelled eerily amazing, like I was being visited by the ghost of October pastries. I felt as though I should be someone's grandmother, baking up this delicious, old-fashioned thing. And that this baking apple scent right here? This should really be someone's first memory. I wished my godbaby was not 3,000 miles away because I feel like this apple scented air wafting from the oven could really bring her into consciousness.
The second mind-blowing thing about this recipe is the glazed topping. Butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk. That's it. HOW did I never know that these three simple ingredients blend together to create this thick, syrupy caramel of the gods in about two minutes flat? How can I live with this knowledge now? I want to put this stuff on everything. Pancakes, cookies, bananas, apples, gummy bears, EVERYTHING. But yeah, it works pretty well on top of the cake too, because you punch holes in the top layer and let it melt on down into the moist interior of the fluffy cake.
And so, because I'm sure I didn't talk it up too much, here it is. Aunt Ruth's apple cake.
Aunt Ruth's Apple Cake
1 1/4 cups cooking oil
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. pecans, chopped
3 cups apples peeled and chopped
1 c. lt brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. evap. milk.
Grease a 9x13x2 pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat the eggs. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be stiff. Pour in prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
To create the topping, combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat with a spoon until thick. Poke holes in cake with a toothpick and pour the topping mixture on the care in the pan while cake is still hot.