Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grandma Clarice's Applesauce Cake Revisited

I didn't realize, when I split The Farm into three pieces, that it would be so hard to post regularly on all of them. The Cabinet, thus, suffers from chronic neglect. I'm hoping to rectify the situation as I get myself more organized, and this is my initial attempt.

Last weekend, when it was cold and damp and I was cranky and homesick, I did what I usually do in such situations: I baked Gram's applesauce cake. But because the applesauce I had on hand was Santa Cruz Organic Apple Cherry Sauce, I used that instead of the usual plain, unsweetened, natural variety. I also decided to make some flax meal (by grinding flax seed in a coffee grinder) because I'm trying to increase my Omega 3 fatty acid intake, and part whole wheat flour to lower the impact on my glucose levels. And I used butter (organic sweet cream, unsalted), mainly because I didn't have any canola oil, but also because Gram sometimes did and it always tasted a bit richer than usual (her fat of choice was margarine). For grins (and because of the apple cherry sauce) I used dried, unsweetened sour cherries instead of raisins.

The original recipe's on my Grandma Clarice's Recipes, Part 1 post from June 2008. The modified one goes like this:

1 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or apple cherry sauce)
1 3/4 cup flour (1/4 c. flax meal; 1/2 cup whole wheat flour; the rest unbleached all-purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
dried sour cherries
1 tablespoon (or so) cocoa powder
1 teaspon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

Cream butter and sugar, add applesauce, spices, cherries, and dissolved soda. Then add flour. Bake in moderate oven (300F) until top springs back.

I frequently double the recipe, as Gram did. If you do so, bake it at 350F for about 45 minutes. It can be baked in a loaf or shallow rectangular pan--or an 8x8 inch glass pyrex dish-- if you're making a single batch. The doubled recipe needs a 13x9 inch pan or pyrex dish.

The cake came out a little denser than usual because of the flax meal. It would be moister and more nutritionally valuable if canola oil were substituted for the butter; or, I might try the new 50/50 blend of Smart Balance and butter next time. It's salted, though, and this is normally a good cake for folks on a low-sodium diet. I'm not sure that the tiny bit of salt in the butter would be bad for the cake itself, however.

When it was warm from the oven, I had a slice with a bit of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream for extra mood enhancement, and it was luscious. Just what I needed to make it through one more rainy day.

Image note: Beloved Spouse has the camera in Alabama for a tennis tournament this weekend, so the fuzzy shot is the fault of my iPhone.


clairz said...

This looks like the perfect thing to be baking on a sunny, cool fall day. Perhaps some day we'll get our house sold and I can once again mess up my kitchen (wherever it may be) at will. Today, however, the realtor is having an open house, and I will be driving around with the dogs and thinking about baking your grandmother's applesauce cake!

I wonder why it is that we get so homesick in the fall, by the way...

Prairie Gothic said...

I'm going to bake one of these soon. Looks delicious!