If, like me, you’ve been enthusiastically picking roadside apples for a month or so, or if you simply hit the orchards for some, you might be getting a little sick of apples. This weekend some friends held their annual cider pressing and the overflow of apples of their trees was such that after a while, we just kind of gave up on cider. There’s just so many apples out there. There is no question that this is just a blockbuster apple year.
This was about halfway through.
Since there were so many, as we were leaving I asked if I could pinch a few of the best looking apples so the kids and I could make some apple cake. It’s one of my favorite fall traditions, but for some reason I hadn’t made any yet this year.
I found the original recipe for this apple cake on some long-defunct website years and years ago, then, as I am prone to do, I made it healthier by dropping the sugar and adding in some whole wheat flour. What I ended up with is, I think, healthy enough to give a kid for a snack or send in a lunchbox. And the recipe is simple enough for kids to help with as well. I like to put one kid in charge of the wet ingredients and one in charge of the dry and then we meet happily in the middle.
A surefire way to get your kid interested in the outdoors is through food, so give it a try with some of your excess apples, or go scout some out just for the occasion.
4-5 cups peeled and diced apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce or vegetable oil
2 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix apples and sugar thoroughly. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and add to apple mixture.* Bake in a greased 13×9 inch pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour (check after 45).
*If you bake a lot, you will notice that this batter looks at little weird. It’s very thick and full of apples and kind of hard to spread in the pan. Don’t worry. It will be okay.