Let's start with a thrilling announcement, shall we? Readers, I now have a fancy Recipe Index on my site! Right there, to the left, under my author photo. Thank you for putting up with those difficult-to-navigate archives for so long - two years, two months, and 304 posts to be exact. I've gotten many, many complaints about this, and I'm so pleased to say that your struggles through my archives are finally over.
In the spirit of democracy, I've included ALL the recipes that I've made on this site in there, including the duds. I'm still debating a system in the Index in which I alert you to my Hall-of-Famers, my Absolute Disasters, my Weeknight Repeats. Any suggestions? Anyway, I hope it's useful to you all - I've already re-discovered more than a dozen things I cannot wait to try again.
To celebrate (and to fortify myself, because I haven't entirely finished going through my archives and adding them to the index), I'm having cake for breakfast. Now, I'm of the opinion that not every cake can double as breakfast. Some cakes, the flourless and the frosted, for example, just can't - they're too glamorous, too late-night, too spangly and wicked. But the homey cakes, the ones that look a little craggy on the edges, with a generous, open crumb and a scent not unlike fresh pancakes, those will do just fine for the weekend mornings when a bowl of cereal is simply not enough.
First published in 1973 and resurrected this weekend by Amanda Hesser, Teddie's Apple Cake (who is Teddie and why is the cake named after him or her? Unfortunately, I have no answers for you) is such a cake. It's got this wonderfully craggy top, all mountains and valleys of soft apples jutting upwards through the cake and slumping down gently into the crumb, and a faintly shattering crust. It could be masked through some confectioner's sugar sifted on top, but I like its rustic appeal just fine. Besides the cake teeters on the edge of too-sweet-ness as it is.
I had to fiddle with things a bit (my God, I've become such a renegade), using less sugar, adding pecans instead of walnuts, swapping in fresh cranberries for the raisins. (It's not that I don't like raisins, but the tart little pops of cranberry are so much more refreshing.) But it was a hit around here last night, fresh out of the oven - with Ben, and with Gemma upstairs. This morning, for breakfast, it's even better.
Teddie’s Apple Cake
Butter for greasing pan
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Gala
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup fresh cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.
2. Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, pecans and cranberries and stir until combined.
3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature.