A game that I like to play with my Indian Gujarati grandmother is the “How do you say this in Gujarati” game. It’s quite fun, actually. I get to learn ridiculous Gujarati words that I would never use in everyday language, while simultaneously hangin’ out with my awesome g-ma. A win, win. One day, as we were playing and thinking of the most obscure words, I realized that I had no idea how to say the word “apple” in Gujarati. How strange. So I asked my grandmother for the translation. She looked at me thoughtfully, slowly took a deep breath, and deliberately said, “ap-ple.”
This is when I had the apple epiphany: there is something so quintessentially American about apples. Apple pie is served at Thanksgiving, the true American holiday. State fair wouldn’t be complete without caramel apples, and apple bobbing is a real…American past time. Okay, that may be a stretch. But apples are ingrained in our American culture. That’s why I’ve noticed that so many people have a family apple cake recipe that is passed down for generations that is made at just about this time every year.
I, however, do not have a family apple cake recipe for obvious reasons. But after going apple picking and coming back with over 30 lbs. of apples (eh..oops), I realized that it is time for me to find one. I wanted to make an apple cake that had an apple punch to it. I do love cinnamon cakes with a slight addition of apples, but I wanted something to really bring out the apple flavor. With five sliced apples, this recipe was perfect – amazingly moist and deliciously spiced with a lovely apple flavor. Try it, love it, take it to your grandmother, and add it to your family recipe collection.
Fresh Apple Layer Cake (adapted from here)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan.
5 apples, of mixed variety, peeled, cored and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1.5 tsp. nutmeg
Toss all ingredients together and set aside.
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple cider
Blend all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer until combined.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Continue to blend with mixer for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick and well combined.
Pour 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Evenly spread 1/2 of the apples onto the cake batter. Continue with another third layer of cake, the remaining apples, and ending with the cake batter. Bake in center rack for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 45 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Serve, sprinkled with powdered sugar.