Friday, December 21, 2012

Amy Cotler: Connie's Apple Coffee Cake

Going, going, almost gone. One classic coffee cake, nutty and moist with apples.

Connie, my pal Eileen’s mom, may be gone, but her recipe is not. What better way to conjure her to join our intimate celebration than to bake her fabulous apple cake?

Plenty of local ingredients can be used here — apples, eggs, butter, yogurt, and if you are in the south, pecans. Connie’s delicious cake used the classic combo of walnuts and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, but feel free to improvise with ingredients for equally tasty results. I did, using walnuts for pecans and playing with the spices. Next try? A fall cake with roasted almonds, almond extract and local pears.
Connie’s Apple Coffee Cake
Serves 8-10

Spiced Nut Mix - Ingredients
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Cake - Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt, whole milk or low fat
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced thinly

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the ingredients in the Spiced Nut Mix. Generously grease a 9 inch angel food cake pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Beat butter until creamy, gradually add sugar while beating until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat into butter and egg mixture alternately with the yogurt until blended.
  4. Spread 1/2 the batter in the pan and layer with the apples. Sprinkle with half the Spiced Nut Mix. Top with the rest of the batter and sprinkle on the remaining Spiced Nut Mix.
  5. Bake 40 minutes, then let the cake rest for 30 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around the sides of the cake. Remove the tube with the cake attached and let it cool completely before you remove it from the tube with two knives or spatulas.

Good Food News

A Very Local Cake (my house)
I’d love to hear about your celebration dishes using local foods. Mine? Local author and illustrator, Eileen and Marc Rosenthal, shared an intimate launch of their new children’s book, I Must Have Bo Bo, with Connie’s Apple Coffee Cake.

Kudos to Local Artisanal Baker
Over the 30 years, regional artisanal food producers, especially cheese makers and bakers, have transformed our culinary landscape. One such exceptional producer lives right near me, and has just been recognized by Bon Appetit as one of the top 10 bakeries in the country. Go Richard Bourdon, the master baker and bread philosopher at Berkshire Mountain Bakery! See a terrific slide show on The Berkshire Food Journal.

USDA Launches Biobased Product Label
This USDA label will clearly identify biobased products made from renewable resources, and will promote their increased sale and use. Biobased products are those composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients — renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials.

Amy Cotler is author of  The Locavore Way © 2009 
This has been reposted from Amy's blog.

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