In the fall, it's hard to beat a perfect apple--cool, crisp, juicy, and sweet-tart. I rarely venture to orchards or farmer's markets these days, so those apples are mostly fond memories. Really fresh macouns and courtlands are the closest to ideal I've found lately.
Here's a recipe that's quick and tasty to make any time of the year, even with supermarket apples. I originally saw it on Danielle Bean's website, but last fall's archives were lost in a spectacular computer crash. This was submitted to Danielle by "Barb", and I've changed a few ingredients and the technique. It's now food processor quick and friendly.
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
6 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
- Grease and flour an 8" square or 9" round cake pan.
- Mix dry topping ingredients in food processor. Add butter in chunks and process. Set aside.
- Mix dry cake ingredients in food processor. Add butter in chunks and process. Add milk, egg, and vanilla, and process just until combined.
- Pour over diced apples and stir together. This will be very thick, looking more like apples with coating than a typical batter. Spread in pan and crumble topping over it.
- Bake at 400* for 20-25 minutes.
- You can add nuts to the topping. I process them first (about 1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans), then set aside. After processing the rest of the topping, I mix the two together.
- If the topping is sandy in texture, squeeze it into clumps as you put it on the batter. This will keep the batter from covering it as it rises in the oven.
- Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples work well.
- If you want to make more batches, don't add the wet ingredients to the food processor. Instead, after cutting the butter into the batter (Dr. Seuss, anyone?), stir that portion into the bowl of wet. I usually have the diced apple in a bowl of milk, egg, and vanilla (keeps them from browning, too).
- You can do everything but the baking the night before. Just cover your pan with foil and refrigerate, then bake in the morning. Baking time will be increased.
In case you're wondering, that's a teenaged me at an apple orchard with my baby sister, who is now a grown-up mother herself. :-)