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Accomplishment to end off the week? By noon on Sunday, I had baked this cake and given el doggo a bath (usually I would just have barely gotten out of bed) – small victories, people. So I started out craving a plum cake -something light and not too indulgent really- but the plums in the supermarket weren’t looking so hot, so I thought I’d settle for apples. Although settle is the wrong word because I love apples – in bread, in pies, in tarts, in muffins, by themselves (I swear I must have said this before sometime on this blog). And so this unfussy apple cake recipe from 101 cookbooks (who is brilliance, you must check her out!) had me at the title… come on, an apple cake and an unfussy one at that? Sold!

And not to mention I got to try out my new loaf pan (courtesy of the brother and L. for Christmas!) which is awesome! And the cake? It’s not too shabby. Although next time, I’m going to try it out with the buttermilk instead of the yogurt substitute… every time I make a loaf with yogurt, I get a funny texture, I would say “gummy” (my brother says it’s like “pudding”) although it seems to rectify itself with toasting (I’m beginning to think it’s because my yogurt isn’t of the whole-milk variety). This calls for some experimentation!

But ’twas a good way to start Sunday, which was later followed by too much time playing video games and intermittent breaks for staring, making silly faces and playing “show me your reflex” with my littlest niece.

So here’s the recipe, from the brilliant 101 Cookbooks:

Unfussy Apple Cake Recipe

2 cups sweet, crisp red apples, cut into 1/4 cubes
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used all-purpose)
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark Muscavado sugar (or other fine-grain natural cane or brown sugar), lump-free
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I used yogurt)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit
3 tablespoons large grain sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Butter and flour (or line bottom with parchment paper) one 9-inch square baking dish or tart pan, you can also bake it in a 9×13 pan but really keep a close eye on it after 20 minutes – it will be quite thin. (I used my new loaf pan so I increased cooking time by about 20 mins)

Place the chopped apples in a bowl of water along with the juice of one lemon. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl. And in a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined – try not to over mix. Now drain the apple, shake off any excess water, and fold the apples into the cake batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges. Sprinkle with most of the large grain sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cake is just set and a touch golden on top. I like this cake every-so-slightly under-baked, just barely, remember it will cook for a little while after you remove it from the oven.

Serves about 12.

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