Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spiced Apple Cakes with Apple Compote (Plus applesauce)

Featured Ingredient: Apples


















Tabi and I recently spent a nice afternoon picking apples from a neighborhood tree that is really plush with fruit this year. With a latter and stick we were able to collect enough to fill a good sized bag.














When you bite into an apple straight off the tree, you realize that most store-bought versions just pail in comparison.

Apples are one of nature’s best sources of quercetin, an antioxidant that appears to help kill off cancerous cells but improve the functioning of immune cells. One company, with Lance Armstrong being a regular sipper, is selling quercetin laced drinks based on a couple studies showing high amounts can improve exercise performance.

This recipe is my paean to the prolific apple tree down the street. The cakes are very heavily spiced so pack a lot of warming flavour. For the cakes, I did not bother peeling the apples like most recipes suggest because I was too lazy and almost all the quercetin in an apple is located in the skin. But it’s best to peel the apples for the compote.

For a bonus recipe, I’ve include my instructions for a baked applesauce that I made with the apples as well. As the shorter, crisper days of fall beckon, this is sure to become a regular treat – we have a lot more apples left!

Spiced Apple Cakes with Apple Compote

Adapted from Food & Drink














Cakes:
1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
1.5 cups apple, finely diced
½ cup chopped walnuts

Apple Compote:
4 red skinned apples, peeled and chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cardamom
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking power, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and stir in sugars, oil, vanilla and orange zest. Stir in half the flour mixture into the egg mixture. When combined, stir in the remaining flour until blended. Stir in apples and walnuts. Divide mixture among 10 greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

As the cakes cook, combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and lemon in a small saucepan. Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes, or until apples are tender but still maintain their shape. Stir in vanilla. Serve over apple cakes.

Printable Version











Spiced Baked Applesauce












12-15 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
3-4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1.5 tsp vanilla

Place apple slices in a large baking dish. Mix with maple syrup. Combine the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle evenly on top of the apples.

















Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until apples have softened considerably, stirring half way through the cooking. Using a potato masher or fork, mash apples to desired consistency.


Printable Version

2 comments:

  1. They look delicious! I love me some apples. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They look delicious! I love me some apples. :)

    ReplyDelete

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