One of the fellas at work brought in a whole grocery bag full of granny smith apples on Monday; apparently, his mother has an apple tree and she "asked" him to pick them and bring them in to his friends. (We know how moms "tell" by "asking," don't we?) He jokingly asked us who was going to take them home and make a pie. Well, I didn't know that I was up to making a pie, but I figured I could make something so I took the whole lot.
I decided on an apple coffeecake. Simple. Delicious. Elegant.
I had plenty of apples to work with, so I doubled the recipe and made two 8x8s and one 9x13--I kept one of the 8x8s at home for the fam.
When I got to work, I unobtrusively left the coffeecakes in the break room with a note stating "Apple Coffeecake," so people would know what they were. I told a few of the folks in my room that they were there, and that was about it with the pomp. Somehow, though, people found out that there was coffeecake and that I made it...and that it rocked their world. I had no fewer than 10 people go out of their way to come tell me it was great. Several of them must have asked around to find out who made it. One woman came to my desk all flustered and asked, "Did I hear that you made that coffeecake?"
"That was so good! Probably the best I've ever had! Will you marry me?"
"Uh...I'm already married, you know..."
"That's okay, maybe you can just cook for me then."
Laura, you made my week.
So here's the recipe:
I used granny smith apples this time, cored and cut into 8ths or 12ths depending on their size. But I've also used frozen mixed berries, peaches, raspberries, and pretty much any other fruit I could get my hands on. The filling is also great on pancakes and waffles.
Alter or omit the spices (cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg are the ones I usually play with) depending on what will work with the fruit you are using.
4 cups chopped apples, apricots, peaches, pineapple, or whole blueberries
1 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 cup butter or margarine
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In a saucepan combine the fruit and water. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or till fruit is tender. (If you start with frozen fruit, plan on it taking longer.) Stir in lemon juice. Mix the 1 1/4 cups sugar and cornstarch; stri into fruit mixture. Cook and stir till thick and bubbly. Cool.
In a mixing bowl stir together the 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and mace. Cut in the 1 cup butter or margarine till mixture resembles fine crumbs. Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, mixing till blended. Spread half of the batter in one greased 13x9x2-inch or two 8x8x2-inch baking pans.
Spread the cooled fruit mixture over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter in small spoonfuls over the fruit mixture, spreading out as much as possible. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Cut in the 1/4 cup butter or margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle nut mixture over batter in pan. Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes for a 9x13 pan or 40 to 45 minutes for two 8x8 pans, or until cake is done. Cool.
Recipe obtained from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.