Apple of my eye

Apple of my eye - The Marvelous Michelina |

Fall always brings about fond memories of my visits to the local apple orchard not far from my college in the North Carolina mountains. There was one – about 20 miles or so from the dorms and I discovered it right before Halloween my freshman year. I guess I was looking for something that reminded me of home. The winding back roads of western North Carolina are heavily lined with trees and reminded me of the trips mom and I took with her long-time friend and her kids through the back country of upstate NY. Apple picking was a favorite fall activity of mine and also meant that we would have fresh Macintosh apples through the coming months. Dad would store them in our shed that was both cool and dry and playing outside during October and November, meant a snack was always close by.

What I found on the day of my road trip was some of the best local NC apples and one of the best tasting apple spice cakes I have ever come across. I wish that I would have asked for their recipe – but I suppose that it was probably a well-guarded secret., especially since it’s still their best seller to this day.

“Red” and I have made a few return trips and plan to make another pilgrimage this fall. I am determined to bring at least one cake home. I wonder how well apple cake freezes?

I’ve included a recipe below that’s pretty close to the original that I fell in love with so long ago.

– M.M.

“Momma’s Apple Spice Cake”

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 apples-peeled, cored and medium diced (I like to mix tart and sweet) 

Putting it all together:

Combine the ½ cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon-set aside. Cream together butter and remaining sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended-do not over mix. Add walnuts and apples by hand. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan. Bake 350-degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from oven and cool enough to remove cake from pan. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over cake while warm.

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