Friday, September 23, 2011

Johnny Appleseed Cake


     Johnny Appleseed, born Sept. 26, 1774 in Leominster, MA, was a horticulturist, conservationist and traveled throughout Ohio, Indiana and Illinois establishing vast acres of nurseries protected by fences.  He led a simple life filled with purpose and lived to the ripe, old age of 80. 
     One cool autumnal night, while lying by his camp-fire in the woods, he observed that the mosquitoes flew in the blaze and were burnt. Johnny, who wore on his head a tin utensil which answered both as a cap and a mush pot, filled it with water and quenched the fire, and afterwards remarked, “God forbid that I should build a fire for my comfort, that should be the means of destroying any of His creatures.” 
     Now that apple season is upon us this recipe for Johnny Appleseed Cake uses all the best flavors fall has to offer.  Chop the apples and macerate them in the fridge for two hours.  The honey, sugar and cinnamon flavor the apples and create the most delicious sugary liquid.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in the same bowl and pour into your dutch oven.  Mine baked for a full 45 minutes in my 10 inch oven with 10 coals around the bottom and 22 on top.  Allow the cake to cool in your oven for a good 30 minutes before removing.  Serve this luscious, apple laden cake with whipped cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream.  Honor one of the our country's great folk heroes and celebrate his birthday by making this sublime dessert.

Johnny Appleseed Cake
3 to 4 Braeburn, Gala or Fuji apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven.  Line with parchment paper.
     In a large bowl, mix apples with sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and honey.
     Refrigerate mixture for two hours.
     To the apple mixture, add apple cider, butter, eggs, oil and vanilla; mix well.
     Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
     Pour mixture into prepared oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.
     Allow to cool for 30 minutes before lifting from oven.
     Serve warm.

Chunks of flavored apple floating in a spiced batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Serve while still warm

Dense, moist cake with a blast of cinnamon in every bite

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