My grandma's yard in Wisconsin has a great big Golden Delicious apple tree that is just loaded with apples. The apples aren't the pretty, shiny apples we see in the grocery store, though.
Because the tree doesn't get sprayed often (if ever), the skins of the apples are spotted. A lot of the apples are misshapen or have a hole from some kind of critter taking a taste.
But inside, they are white, firm and tart. You could eat them as is, ugly skin and all, but we're so used to the grocery store apples that we don't prefer to do that. Instead, we bake them into goodies.
Grandma's visitors who pick from the tree tend to use them in apple pie, but to be honest, apple pie is not my thing. I'll pick just about any dessert over apple pie, and I do not have any interest in dealing with homemade pie crusts.
The first night I was here, I made an apple crisp -- heavy on the crisp. I didn't have my usual recipe so I just mixed the apples with a squeeze of lemon juice and a couple tablespoons of sugar in a deep-dish Pyrex pie dish. For the topping, I mixed flour, brown sugar, quick oats and melted butter until it looked right. Didn't bother taking a picture since I knew I wouldn't have a recipe post.
The second apple recipe I made was an old-fashioned apple cake. Nothing unusual or fancy about it -- just good. I may have gone overboard with the apples because it was moist to the point of being wet the second day, but it was still good. I divided it between two pans -- an 8x8 pan that went in the freezer for one of Grandma's future visitors, and another in a cool-looking loaf pan that should have had pumpkins and leaves on the top. Instead of having a decorative top it looked kind of lumpy, so I drizzled it with a glaze. I happen to like frostings and glazes anyway.
(This is on Tastespotting! Be sure to check out the site for more delicious recipes!)
Old-Fashioned Apple Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Glaze, if desired: confectioner's sugar, milk, cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour one 9x13 inch cake pan (I did a loaf pan and an 8x8 pan so I could freeze one -- just adjust baking times a bit.)
In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
Combine the flour salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Stir in the apples and walnuts by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out without batter on it. Let cake cool on a wire rack. You can just dust it with confectioner's sugar, but I made a glaze. Just pour some confectioners sugar into a bowl. Add a little milk until it's the right consistency. Add a bit of cinnamon until you like the taste. Drizzle over the cake. Let set before serving.