The weather has turned beautifully cool and fall like here in Colorado. Yesterday, after a rainy spell, it got downright cold. Perfect weather for turning on the oven and baking up a sweet treat.
There is something so comforting to have your house nice and toasty when it is a bit chilly outside and redolent of warm fall spices. I think I am jumpstarting the holiday season! ( Of course, compared to the shops, it seems like I am way behind! They have Christmas decorations on sale already!!)
I am so ready for fall and all its heavenly colours. The mountains are beginning to change into glorious reds and golds heralding the season. The days are milder and the nights; a very comfortable cool. The neighbourhood gardens are filled with jewel laden trees and sunny pumpkin globes. All this beauty around me is truly inspirational to my cooking!
My apple tree in the garden is over flowing with small crab apples; little red and green baubles dotted around like ornaments on a festive tree. Unfortunately, an enthusiastically, decorated tree because the poor tree branches are grazing the ground. They are sweet tart and make your lips pucker but still incredibly delicious to pick and eat straight from the tree. A dessert made from these little gems would definitely be the highlight of the potluck dinner that I was to attend last night (my highlight at least.) There were also a few stalks of rhubarb that were supposed to be used in a crumble last week that never materialised.
I wanted to move away from an apple and rhubarb crumble, delicious as that is, and wanted some sort of cake combining rhubarb and my apples. I did a quick Google search and quite a few recipes appeared. One of the first few up top in the search was a recipe by Marcus Samuelsson. I really like him; he’s the down to earth, unpretentious, Swedish chef. I have made quite a few of his dishes in the past and they have all turned quite exceptional. I adapted his basic recipe to my ingredients and taste.
The cake was absolutely phenomenal. It smelled so wonderful when it was baking and when I was photographing it. It is a very tender cake and crumbles easily because of the fruit in it, but it’s so moist and the apples and rhubarb just give it an amazing texture and flavour. I also used raw turbinado/demerera sugar instead of the regular brown sugar it originally asked for, and even though it had a harder time creaming with the butter, the end result was gorgeous.
NOTE: something worth noting, since the cake is very moist and the fruit makes it crumbly, the use of a springform tin is desired. It’s easier to pry out of the cake tin. If you will be using a regular cake tin, then I would suggest that you forego the dusting with the ground almond and use flour lined tin or parchment lined tin. The cake will release easier from the tin and onto your cake plate.
APPLE AND RHUBARB CAKE
6-8 small crab apples or 2 large apples, peeled and cut in thin wedges
1 cup rhubarb, chopped about (1 1/2 stalks)
1/2 cup/100g sugar
1/2 cup/90g turbinado sugar or packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons/57g butter, softened and extra for greasing tin
1 1/4 cups/175g plain/all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cups/160mL heavy cream or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground almonds
Butter a 9″/23 cm spring form tin and dust with ground almonds. Put aside.
Toss the sugars together and add the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Combine 1/3 cup of the sugar with the apples and rhubarb, toss to coat and set aside.
Combine the flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Add vanilla to the cream, set aside.
Add the egg and and mix well.
Add the flour mixture on low until gently mixed.
Add the cream mixture.
Fold in the apples and rhubarb and mix until combined.
Spread into the prepared tin.
Bake until the centre is golden brown.
Cool completely and then run a knife around the tin and release.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream.
I hope you are all enjoying the end of one season and the beginning of another, unless you are in Houston, where it is just one huge, hot season. Are you ready for fall or do you want to hold onto summer a little bit longer? Hope you all have a great weekend and a great week ahead. I am also looking forward to the start of American football tomorrow! The Denver Broncos have the great #18, we are in for a great season!