Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake

I was ready to experiment in the kitchen yesterday.  I planned on making something with some Granny Smith apples I had on hand.  I considered making a pie, muffins, bread, and apple crisp, but I couldn’t shake the idea of creating a deliciously moist apple cake.

I started out with a big bowl and worked my way into this delicious cake.  I promise you this cake is super moist (thanks to the sour cream) and will quench any hankering you have for the combination of apples and cinnamon.   What’s even better?  You can don’t need an electric mixer to whip this cake up; simply mix by hand.

I decided to title this recipe as Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake because it is the type of dessert my mother or grandmother would have whipped up to serve following one of their delicious home cooked meals. 

Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake

1 c. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 stick of butter, softened

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4  tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and sliced very thin

Cinnamon and sugar mixture – 1/2 c. granulated sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon;  add prepared apple slices and set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8”x8” glass baking dish

In a large bowl mix by hand the sugar, egg, softened butter, and sour cream.  Add cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and flour; mix until all ingredients are combined.  Don’t over mix.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Layer half of the apple slices on top of the batter.  Repeat with remaining cake batter and apple slices.  The apples will be the top layer.

Bake for approximately 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being submitted into the center of the cake.

Cool slightly and serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream, or allow to cool and serve later. 

Delicious Apple Sour Cream Cake - From Scratch

 

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake - Serve Warm or Cold

What is your favorite fruit to bake with?

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Orange and a Little Bit of Red

I was in the mood for orange.  Orange is one of my favorite colors.  Right up there with the colors red and pink.  And since I haven’t spent a lot of time with my camera lately (and felt a little guilty about it) I decided to spend some quality time with it.

These sweet little Mandarin oranges (and a few strawberries) assisted me in this photography adventure.  They make life so much brighter.

 

I would love it if you’d share your favorite photo on Pinterest.  Happy Orange (and a little bit of red) Day!

Making Homemade Granola

granola

I love fruit & yogurt parfaits.  They are tasty, low fat, and fairly healthy.  They make a pretty good snack or dessert when your sweet tooth is misbehaving and you are trying to watch calories.

Since I like granola on my yogurt parfaits I decided to try making my own at home.

Armed with oats and slivered almonds I contemplated what flavor granola I would make.

I scavenged through the cupboards and pulled out some of my favorite flavors.  Brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and  pure maple syrup. 

The great thing about making your own granola is that you can adapt it to fit your own tastes.  You can add honey, coconut, or a variety of nuts and dried fruits.  Because I wasn’t sure how my first batch would turn out I kept it simple.  I also decided to stay clear from adding any fat (oil) to make my granola.

Recipe:

2 c. oatmeal

1/2 c. slivered almonds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. brown sugar

3/4 c. pure maple syrup

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.  After everything is thoroughly mixed, pour it out onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-30 minutes; stir every 10 minutes. The granola is done baking when it is a light golden brown.  Be careful  not to over bake it.

Allow it to cool on the cookie sheet.  As it cools it will become crunchy.  Once cool; store in zip-lock bag to maintain freshness.

This granola is only slightly sweet.  You can add extra brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter version.  Or be creative and come up with your own custom blend.

granola 119

 

Cool and sweet

 

It was over 90 degrees out yesterday, especially in the direct sun.  My husband and I had finally found the time to work on our chicken’s ( soon to be) new home.   We got the floor, and two walls framed.

After a day of lifting, carrying, and screwing down lumber  I figured we were ready for a cool treat.  One of my favorite things to do with fresh fruit is to make homemade sauces for ice cream.  With some black cherries still left in the fridge that I had neglected to freeze, I knew how to use them up.

Ice cream sauce is one of the easiest things you can make, and it’s impressive.  The sauces look and taste so expensive, and if you buy them they typically are.

Here’s my recipe. 

3/4 c. fresh fruit (if the fruit can be mashed, I usually mash it – cherries aren’t very cooperative in that department)

3/4 c. water

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 heaping tsp (the teaspoon you use at a place setting) of cornstarch

1/2  tsp. vanilla extract, or lemon if you prefer

In a sauce pan add your fruit and water.  Bring to a boil.  I generally boil until the fruit becomes tender, the color is rich, and the smell will send you out of this world (about 5 minutes).

In a separate bowl  mix the sugar and cornstarch. 

Once the fruit is ready, add a bit of the hot fruit liquid to the dry ingredients and stir.  Adding the hot liquid to the dry (sugar & cornstarch)  prevents the cornstarch from getting lumpy in your sauce.  Last, pour the colorful sugar and cornstarch mixture back into the fruit liquid that’s left in your saucepan.  Boil until it thickens.  Once you take the sauce off the heat stir in your vanilla or lemon extract.

And here are the cool, sweet results from less than 15 minutes of work.  The only thing that would have made this better is homemade ice cream so I’m saving my pennies to buy an ice cream maker!  By the way, you can preserve this sauce and give it away as gifts, or put it in your pantry for a nice winter treat.