Jean’s Fresh Apple Cake

My aunt’s MIL, Jean Owens, is a professional caterer. Somehow, I don’t have a copy of her cookbook, At Your Request, but I borrowed my Nana’s to share this recipe. I’ve loved this cake when my mom’s made it before, & we decided it would be perfect for our family for this weekend as we’re gathering to celebrate another shower for my brother. I had a bunch of fresh NC apples I’d picked up from my work’s farmer’s market, so I volunteered to bake.

1 1/4 c vegetable oil
2 c sugar
3 eggs
3 c peeled & chopped apples
1 tsp vanilla
3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c light raisins {omitted & subbed in 3/4 c craisins}
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 c butter
1 c light brown sugar
1/4 c evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

In large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs, apples & vanilla. Beat well by hand {do not use electric mixer}. In separate bowl, stir together flour, salt & baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the apple mixer & stir together. Fold in raisins & nuts.

Pour into greased & floured pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes for layer pan or 1 hour for bundt pan {I used bundt}. Verify doneness with the clear fork test.

To make glaze:
{I baked the cake Thurs night & we made glaze Friday night in Richmond because I didn’t have the evap milk. Thanks mom!} Combine butter, sugar & evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 3 mins to thicken. Add vanilla, cool & spread on cake.

Jean likes Granny Smith apples for this cake. I used local NC Fugi & it still turned out delicious.

Oatmeal Raspberry Scones

As I mentioned in the post below, I bought a large pint of raspberries yesterday. I love scones, so I searched for some raspberry scone recipes yesterday. I thought Martha’s sounded good, but a little intense. Then I found Annie’s Eats version which also included oatmeal. I thought they sounded great & pretty easy. And they are! I made them a little different, so I’m posting how I did them.

Oatmeal Raspberry Scones
1 large egg
1/2 c cold buttermilk (I used 1/2 tbsp distilled white vinegar & 1/2 c skim milk)
2/3 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 1/3 c oats
1/3 sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg (I sprinkled a little in)
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
about 1 c fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Combine egg & buttermilk in measuring cup. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & nutmeg in large mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture. I used a knife then a fork to do this until it mixed & was crumbly.

Pour the egg mixture into the dry and mix with a fork until just incorporated. Gently fold in the berries. I used my hands at this point to combine. It becomes a sticky dough which I flattened into one hand. I then cut it like a pizza to make 8 triangle scones. Put on baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Place on cooling rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Apple Bread

So during my work trip {aka fall mountain fun}, two of the agents I work bought me & a couple of my coworkers 1/2 pecks of apples from here. I chose Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious & Mutsu apples. A 1/2 peck is a lot of apples. I didn’t count but, I’ve pretty much had an apple a day since we got back last Wednesday as well as used 3 for the apple cake I made last Friday which left 3 (two Granny & one Mutsu). I figured the 3 left would be perfect for a apple recipe this weekend.

I asked my favorite sources {twitter & facebook} for recipe suggestions. I might try applesauce or apple butter next time, but Mrs Lushers apple bread recipe sounded too awesome to pass up. Mrs Lushers’ recipes always look amazing but usually intimidate me. I rose for the challenge this time except I left out a few of her ingredients that I didn’t have on hand. Below is the recipe I made. It’s a mix of her apple pecan flax bread which is adapted from this Good Things Catered’s recipe as well as allrecipes apple bread recipe.

Apple Bread
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg {not sure what a pinch was so I just sprinkled a little bit in}
1 c light brown sugar
1/4 c applesauce {plus a little more}
1/4 c butter {I used a little less}, melted & cooled
1 egg, beaten plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
close to 2 c apples, peeled, cored, & diced {I used one medium Granny Smith & 1 small Mutsu}
little white sugar to sprinkle {I didn’t have raw sugar or turbinado}Directions
1- Preheat oven to 325. Spray a loaf pan with pam.
2- In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Whisk until mixed & set aside.
3- At this point I microwaved butter until melted & set aside. I then remembered I hadn’t peeled/cored/chopped apples so I did that at this point.
4- In stand mixer, beat together applesauce, butter, & sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Turn mixer down to low. Add dry mixture a little at a time, mixing just until combined.
5- Fold in apples {also pecans & flax if you have them} by hand with rubber spoonula.
6- Pour in prepared loaf pan & spread evenly. Sprinkle top with turbinado & bake for 80-90 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sunny Morning Muffins

I was first introduced to these fruity muffins from Alena on twitter aka Mrs Charmingly Chandler. I copied the food network recipe down that day. Then while on Waking up Williams, I realized Lindsay had also made these muffins with rave reviews! I was sold. I think they’ll be perfect for this weekend when my parents are coming into town. I thought I’d make them tonight so we could have them for breakfast & snacks starting tomorrow! I plan to make a mixture of mini muffins & regular sized ones. I also plan to use 1/2 oil & half applesauce to make them a little healthier.

Sunny Morning Muffins (originally from Food Network)
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil (I used 1/8 c oil & 1/8 c applesauce)
1 lemon, zested (omitted because I didn’t have one)
I added 1/4 tsp vanilla because I love it in all baked goods
1/2 pint blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts (We not like a lot of nuts in muffins, so I used 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let sit 15 minutes until strawberries give off juices.
In another small bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, 1 cup sugar, strawberries, and lemon zest.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Do not over mix.
Fold in blueberries and walnuts. Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs but not wet, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack to room temperature.

I cooked the mini muffins for around 13 minutes and they were perfect. I was busy cleaning and overcooked the regular-sized muffins. So I’d recommend setting the timer for 20 instead of 30 minutes.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

I found this recipe from a fellow NC nestie, Katie Loves Paper a couple of weeks ago. I believe she found it from Joy of Cooking. I’d been meaning to make the below banana bread this weekend, but strawberries were on sale at Harris Teeter & we already had all the other ingredients. UPDATE: I added photos. I think these might be the most delicious muffins I’ve made this year. The bananas are a great background flavor. I might add more strawberries next time because they were a great bitesized flavor addition.

1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 c)
1 c fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 cup muffin pan with liners or spray with Pam.

In small bowl, melt butter. (I microwaved. Recipe recommends melting in saucepan over stove.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.

In another large bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & cinnamon. Gently fold in the strawberries, making sure they’re coated with flour which will help them from sticking during baking. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Overstirring can lead to tough muffins.

Divide the batter into the muffin cups. (The recipe says will make 12. I made small muffins & divided into 15 muffin cups.) Bake approximately 20-25 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool. Enjoy!