Fresh Apple Cake
This recipe is adapted from one in The Melting Pot: Ethnic Cuisine in Texas (Institute of Texan Cultures, 1977). Like many German-Texan desserts, it calls for pecans. German immigrants learned quickly to substitute readily available Texas pecans for the walnuts and hazelnuts they had used in Germany.
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. hot water
2 c. chopped apples (2 large apples), unpeeled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans, divided
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
lady apple (or small apple), sliced in half (optional)
fresh mint leaves (optional)
Combine sugar, oil, and eggs; beat well.
Sift together flour, salt, and soda; add to egg mixture along with 2 T. hot water. Mix well. Add chopped apples, vanilla, and 1 c. chopped pecans, and mix well.
Pour into two 8-inch greased and floured deep quiche pans or two 8-inch round cake pans or one 12-cup Bundt pan.
Combine brown sugar and remaining pecans, and sprinkle half the mixture on top of each cake.
Bake at 325º for 30 to 35 minutes (if using a Bundt pan, bake 50 to 60 minutes).
Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with apple halves, grapes, and mint leaves; if desired.
From the April 1996 issue.