I have the most charming cookbook which is all about apples and titled “An Apple Harvest, Recipes and Orchard Lore” written by Frank Browning and Sharon Silva. I have had this little gem for several years and have intended to use it several times but as with all those cookbooks on my shelf, this one became forgotten. I pulled it off the shelf today because I had some Granny Smith’s that needed a special destiny, and I found some wonderful inspiration from this book. I made a few tweaks here and there and would like to share with you my adaptation of their wonderful apple cake....
Apple Walnut Bourbon Cake
4 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp (1 stick)
½ cup margarine at room temp (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Bourbon
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe is below)
You will need three bowls – one for the dry ingredients, one for the diced apples and walnuts, and one for the wet ingredients.
First, peel core and dice apples (1/2 inch dice). Then chop the walnuts. Place both in a bowl and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray or grease a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Next add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium sized bowl and dry whisk to insure the leaveners are well distributed.
Then, cream the soft butter and margarine until smooth.
Then, add the 4 eggs and beat until well incorporated.
Then, add the sugar and beat on medium high until smooth.
Then, add the bourbon and beat again until smooth.
Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet in three batches, mixing well. Scrape the sides and lift the bottom to insure everything is incorporated into the batter. The batter will be very thick and smooth.
Then add the apples and walnuts and using a large spoon fold them into the batter.
In large spoonful’s, turn the batter into the pan.
Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed with your fingertip. Place on a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Then turn out onto a plate and continue to allow the cake to cool.
When cool enough, top with a thin frosting (see recipe below) allowing it to drizzle down sides and middle.
Top with additional chopped walnuts, and serve.
Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick salted butter or add (scant) 1/8 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter.
1 eight ounce brick of cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
Cream together the butter and cream cheese with an electric hand mixer.
Next add the powdered sugar in one cup increments. By adding the powdered sugar in this matter you can blend and cream each cup one after the other and will not have powdered sugar dust going everywhere as you mix. This also yields a creamer frosting. If you need to thin the frosting out a bit, add a tablespoon or more of milk.
Here is a link for the book I have referenced: