Mama always said: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. My mom said it, I bet your mom said it, and you can be sure that I say it to my own children.
Only thing is, the apples I ate as a child were awful. I remember horrid Red Delicious apples, with thick, waxy skins, and the inner fruit that was, well, not so delicious. I used to think it was a pity that I grew up in The Big Apple, where the apples were nothing to brag about. We even had an apple tree in our backyard, and to my disappointment, even they were pitiful.
It wasn’t until my first true apple picking excursion in upstate New York that I came to understand that the apple really is a noble fruit. I fell in love with varieties that never made it to my urban grocer, and nothing made me happier than seeing my parents buy gallons of the muddy colored apple cider. Nowadays, we are lucky that there is a renewed appreciation for the apple, and we can enjoy newer hybrids as well as heirloom varieties. I love that my children can crunch into Fijis, and Galas, Pink Ladies and Honeycrisps. And thanks to a growing effort, they can appreciate heirloom apples such as Black Oxford or Rhode Island Greening.
I will say, there was one way my mother could guarantee that we would eat our apples: in her Apple Walnut Delight.
Her glazed cake was studded with apples, transforming them not only to edible, but to heavenly.
These days, I omit the walnuts, only because the eaters in my household are not the biggest fans of the walnut, but do not worry, the cake tastes just as good.
Mama would be proud.
Apple Walnut Delight
If you have any allergies or aversions to nuts, by all means, omit the walnut. The cake is just as wonderful without them.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar (I like to use 1 cup white granulated and 1 cup brown sugar)
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups chopped apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, all work well. Combine varieties if you wish!)
- 1 cup walnuts (omit if desired, and increase apple quantity to 4 cups)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 10 inch fluted cake pan or tube pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add gradually to sugar, butter and egg mixture until incorporated. Do not over mix.
Stir in apples, and walnuts.
Spoon into prepared cake pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Frost with glaze.
Combine 1 cup of confectioners sugar with 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and 2 Tbsp milk.