Apple plum-cake recipe

Dinner was pretty light the other night, so I decided to bake an apple cake. But I had no eggs, so I looked around the net and found some recipes here and there. I settled on this one here, but then modified it quite a lot. For example I used butter instead of oil and I more than doubled the milk and left out the cinnamon and of course I did not have brown sugar so I used regular sugar. And then I baked it in a plum cake mold…. Basically I made another cake. But the result was not bad at all!

Ingredients

  • 4 apples
  • 9 oz flour
  • 4.5 oz sugar
  • 5 oz butter
  • 3/4 cups of milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 spoon of baking soda

Directions

  1. So in a mixer I mixed 9 oz of flour, 4.5 oz of sugar, 5 oz of butter, a pinch of salt, 1 spoon of baking powder and about 3/4 cups of milk (I added milk until the batter was smooth yet still thick). Then I diced 4 apples and mixed them into the batter. Poured the batter in the buttered plum cake mold and put in the oven at 375F for a long long time. It took me about 2 hours to cook the cake. I think that adding less milk might make the process faster. Let cool on a rack and serve.
  2. Even without the eggs the cake is moist and nice. A winner!

Apple roesti cake

A couple of weeks ago I went apple picking and I came back with about 30 lbs. of apples. The question was what I should do with that many apples and when on a diet? Cakes are an option only if butter and eggs are kept at a very minimum.

Pretty soon this idea of making roesti using apples started taking shape in my mind. I made some research and found that roesti of potatoes and apples do in fact existed, but that they were mainly a side dish that consisted of more potatoes than apples. I decided to tweak those recipe quite a bit and make it into a sweet apple roesti cake.

I still kept in a couple of potatoes for texture, but changed the ratio so that the apples became the main component. And I baked the roesti in the oven rather than on the stove. The result was a pretty light dish, incredibly hard to photograph but pretty tasty and reminiscent of baked apples. Great for breakfast or a light snack.

Celery and apple quiche recipe

I almost forgot I had this quiche lined up for you. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to brunch by a friend and I offered to make a quiche. I decided I wanted to put apples in there (as I said I went apple picking). When an idea forms in my mind about ingredients, I rarely give up, but combining apples into a quiche was going to be a challenge.

So I looked around the web and tried to find inspiration, but was then confronted with my semi-empty fridge. I saw some celery stalks eyeing me from the back of the fridge and I figured celery would go well with the apples (or at least it wouldn’t be horrible…).

I’m happy I gave it a try. The combination of flavors works surprisingly well, with the celery and the green apple playing off each other. The result is a bit pungent and pretty sophisticated (at least, that is what my friends thought) and wouldn’t look bad in a creative restaurant. If you are curios, give it a try!

Celery and apple quiche

Ingredients

  • dough for quiche crust
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 heart celery
  • 2 oz. asiago or other sweet, melty cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

    1. First prepare the dough according to the instructions here. Making dough for pies and quiche is really easy, but if you are really not into kneading and such use pastry or phyllo dough.
    2. In a pan cook, the diced apple and celery in a bit of olive oil. Cook until the vegetables are soft, then turn the heat off and let them cool down.

  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Add in the diced cheese and the cooled down vegetables.
  2. Prepare an oven dish by lining it with parchment paper and then with the pie dough. Pour the filling in the dough and put in the oven at 375F for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are golden brown.
  3. Wait for the quiche to cool down before cutting so that the eggs can set. Enjoy warm or cold.

Easy fennel and apple salad

This month we are revisiting hot slaw. One thing I love and I haven’t eaten in a while because here is ungodly expensive is fennel. And my favorite way of having fennel is to cut it very thin and have it raw with a bit of oil and a touch of cumin. However, that was way to easy for the swap, so I decided to change it up a little bit.

After a bit of thinking I decided to throw apples in the mix and looked on-line for inspiration. I walked into this recipe here and suddenly red onion was in the mix. So now I had thinly sliced fennel, apple and onions. But how to dress it? I decided I had to do a warm dressing, to keep faithful to the original recipe and I decided to go with a balsamic vinegar reduction.

I took pics with the help of my new lightbox custom made by my wonderful BF and I have to say I am pretty happy with the result. On the other hand I do not dare to mix the salad an eat, as it just looks too beautiful… I had to invite friends over and share it with them (well the salad and the gravalax I am curing in the fridge), so I am waiting for them to get here before eating…

Recipe swap: fennel and apple salad

Recipe swap: fennel and apple salad

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

    1. First I sliced the fennel, the onion and the apple thinly. I used a meat slicer for the onion and the fennel to get perfect slices. I put the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice so that they wouldn’t brown and I rubbed the onion with salt and submerged it in cold water, so that it becomes easier to digest. Also, I saved the leaves of the fennel to use them as decoration.

  1. Then I started on the reduction. I put the vinegar in a little pot with the sugar and cooked it onto low heat until it coated the spoon and then let it cool down a bit.
  2. Finally, I assembled the salad and spooned on a bit of the balsamic reduction and added the fennel leaves on top for decoration. Added salt and pepper and it’s ready to eat!

Petronilla’s apple cake

This to me is THE Apple Cake. It is the one I grew up with and it is delicious. It is also healthy, has it has no butter or oil or any added fat. Italian readers might have already guessed, it comes from an old recipe book that my grandmother owned: le ricette di Petronilla.

Petronilla was an Italian doctor that used to write about cooking and nutrition. The book is interesting not only because some of the recipes, like this apple cake, are truly delicious, but also because it is a window on another lifestyle. For example, in this cake the butter is omitted to make the cake cheaper rather than to make it healthier.

Anyway, hope you will try it!

Apple cake

Ingredients

  • 3 apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.75 oz. all purpose flour
  • 2.75 oz. whole wheat flour
  • 5 oz. sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 drop vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Beat the eggs with the sugar until they puff up and double in volume.
  2. Add the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla extract and enough milk to make the batter smooth, but not quite fluid.
  3. Add 1 apple cut in small slivers to the batter.
  4. Pour half the batter in a buttered cake pan and layer with apple slices.
  5. Cover with the rest of the batter and top with more apple slices.
  6. Bake in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through (toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).
  7. By the way, I substituted half the flour with whole wheat one, but the original recipe is made with just AP flour.