13 hours ago
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Am I in the wrong season?
Is it wrong to make an apple cake when it isn't fall?
Will the dessert police arrest me and put me in jail?
Peach cobblers ONLY in August! Apple crisps ONLY in October! Blueberry muffins ONLY in June.
These seem to be the rules of baking in New Jersey, and it only makes sense to use ingredients that are in season in your area.
But apples are always in the markets, and Granny Smith green apples seem to be seasonless (I am justifying my reasons).
So, that is the reason for baking Gina DePalma's Venetian Apple Cake in May.
I couldn't wait until October to make it.
This cake was excellent. I loved the honey and spices and the grated apple added to the batter, and oh, that polenta!
I took liberties and added the fan of apples to the top to make it look attractive, and it did!
Venetian Apple Cake: (adapted from Dolce Italiano)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup instant or fine polenta (fine cornmeal works here too)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
8 tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tb extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, tapping out excess flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, polenta or cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside, along with the grated apple in its own bowl.
In a standing mixer on medium speed (I used a wooden spoon), cream the butter, olive oil, and sugar until lightened in color, one to two minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Stop the mixer, pour in honey, and resume beating on medium until mixture is smooth, about one minute. Beat in eggs one at a time until well-blended, then vanilla extract.
On low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients, the milk, and the remaining dry ingredients. Beat mixture at medium speed for about 30 seconds, then fold in the grated apple with a spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden and just beginning to pull away from the pan.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack and let cool completely. Re-invert onto serving dish and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Make this cake. Don't wait another 3 months! It's your kitchen.