Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pneumonia and Apple Cake

How's that for an appetizing title?

There are some positives to being sick with something as scary-sounding as pneumonia. Positive #1: I'm not contagious, so it didn't interfere with my scrapbooking weekend with my mother and DoRena. Positive #2: My employeress didn't want me to come back for work this week. I texted her after a trip to the Redimed on Saturday: "Sorry to bother you on vacation. Just found out I have walking pneumonia. Let me know what you want to do about next week." Her return text went something like this: "Take liquids and rest. Nice working with u. Enjoy ur new job." Thus concludes our association.

So, I've had a few days to loll about the house and recuperate. As of this morning, I feel almost 100%. Except for the hacking cough every time I even think about laughing, but I'm sure that will clear up. Azithromycin and codeine have done their work.

Feeling better and lots of time alone in the apartment can only mean two things: cleaning and baking. In the interests of ensuring that my lungs are fully healed before I expose them to anything unusual, I skipped the cleaning and went straight to the kitchen. There were apples to be used! After much searching and a chat with my grandma (always helpful), I settled on this recipe:

Good Housekeeping* Apple-Walnut Bundt Cake

3 c. flour
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c lightly packed dark brown sugar**
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 + t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground ginger
1 c vegetable oil
1/4 lemon juice +1/4 c water and 1/2 t honey***
2 t vanilla
3 large eggs
1 lb apples (I used Macs, but something a little tarter would probably be nice), peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 c walnuts, coarsely chopped****

1) Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 10" bundt pan
2) In large bowl, combine first 11 ingredients (everything but the apples and nuts). Beat at low speed until well-blended, scraping bowl frequently. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl. Stir in apples and walnuts.
3) Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake approx 1:15, until cake pulls away from sides and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.***** Cool pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool cake completely on rack.

* I give those fine folks some credit, despite my many alterations.
** The recipe called for 1 3/4 c  white sugar, but 1) that sounded like a lot to me, so I cut it back 1/4 c. and 2) I just like brown sugar more. This did not seem to have any negative effect on the texture.
***Sometimes I don't alter things just because I feel like it. This calls for 1/2 c of apple juice and I had to come up with something else since we don't keep juice on hand.
****They also added 1 c raisins, but that sounds like a horrible thing to do to a nice cake.


Elephantschild said...

Wow, good call on the juice substitution! I've done similar things myself, usually out of desperation.

With you on the raisins. In fruitcake, yes, but not in an apple bundt cake. Unless they were golden raisins, eh, but maybe not even then.

Rachel said...

I've found (thanks to my mother) that if you want some of the raisin flavor without the weird texture, grinding them up works wonders. No surprise chewy bits, but still a little tang.

gra said...

Lots of good news in this post! Woo-hoo!

Your apple cake recipe sounds good; it reminds me somewhat of a rhubarb cake Grandma Beery used to make. In fact, now I'm craving one or the other.