I can't believe a year has flown by and it's time to celebrate another Jewish New Year. Just in time for dessert for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur's break-the-fast, I bring you an awesome apple cake to help ensure your reputation as a terrific baker all year long. Hopefully, along with dipping apples in honey, it will emphasize the wish that we have an extra sweet and healthy year.
What makes this cake so special you might ask? Well, first of all, when you make it, you will see that there are far more chunks of tangy Granny Smith apples than there is batter. That means that the cake is extra moist. In fact, it is so moist that you can cut it with a butter knife. Then there are the ambrosial warm spices of cinnamon, ginger and cloves that linger in the back of your palate long after you've swallowed the last bite.
There are no tricks to making this cake. It is very straight forward and forgiving. Just follow the directions and if you overmix or undermix, it will still be delicious. I promise.
For the decoration, I use a Wilton stencil (you can use a doily, but it is more difficult to lift up because it is such thin paper.) I also use non-melting powdered sugar. This sugar is fantastic for decorating everything as it does exactly what its name says. You can purchase it by clicking here. (I hope this works. If it doesn't, it is King Arthur flour's website.)
I want to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful, healthy and happy new year. My hope is that our paths will cross sometime in the coming year.
APPLE CAKE WITH RAISINS, PECANS & SPICES
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 Granny Smith apples, (8 oz. each) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup chopped pecans
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. (Cooking spray with flour works well.)
- Put both flours, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and sugar into a mixing bowl with electric mixer. Mix on low speed for 10 seconds to combine. Drop the cubes of butter over and mix on medium low speed until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is fine crumbs, about one minute. Add the eggs and mix on low until combined. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for one minute until the batter is light and fluffy.
- Add the apples, raisins and pecans and mix on low until combined. Scrape the batter well with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 60 minutes. The top will feel firm and be deeply browned. A toothpick inserted near the center will come out almost clean.
- Cool completely on a rack. Turn out onto a rack and then turn right-side-up onto a platter if you are going to serve it or heavy foil if you wish to store or freeze it.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Cake may be stored well wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen.
- Before serving, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. (To match the photo, lay a stencil over the top of the cake, sprinkle the cake evenly with non-melting powdered sugar and carefully lift up the stencil.)
Makes 8 servings.