Last week I was contacted by Jenn from the blog Knitty Baker (US) to see if I was interested in participating in The Wooden Spoon Adventure, a fun blog opportunity to celebrate the 5th blog Anniversary of the blog A Merrier World by Kate (UK). Kate began a few weeks ago by posting a recipe that was made with a very special wooden spoon, then the spoon was sent to another blogger who followed suite, and then it was sent to another blogger, and so on. Bloggers who participate are honorary "Spoonees". The goal is for the spoon to travel from one spoonee to another, across the globe, cooking local ingredients or recipes along the way. Then the spoonees share what they made on their blogs, including photos of the special wooden spoon being used to make the recipe. Such a fun idea. So, let me say Happy Blogiversary to Kate at A Merrier World. I'm thrilled to be part of this very cool celebration.
So agreeing to participate was an easy choice, but next I needed to decide whether to feature a local ingredient or recipe. In the end, I decided to feature a little of both. It happens to be the peak of apple season in my apple orchard-filled town - and as a nod to our British heritage, I chose to make a kind of cake called a pudding (common in the UK, but not so common here in the US). Everyone in the family loves this sweet, tender, moist cake which is packed full of fresh apple flavor. My youngest even asked me to make it for her birthday. Enjoy!
The Wooden Spoon arrived complete with a lovely note from Jenn, the Spoonee who picked me to carry on the tradition, as well as the original note Kate wrote when she started this nifty adventure.
Alrighty, let's get started - this cake starts with a bowl of diced apples. Choose an apple variety that holds it shape well when baked and doesn't give off too much juice or turn mushy. Galas, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious are good choices.
Add ground cinnamon.
Stir well to combine.
Precook the apples in the microwave for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Here you can see the apples have shrunken down a bit.
Oh how I wish you could smell my kitchen right about now!
In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
Add the melted butter, milk, and pure vanilla extract; stir until smooth.
Sprinkle the precooked apples evenly over the batter. Bake in the lower half of a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Virginia Apple Pudding (Cake)
makes 8 servings
- 2 cups peeled and diced (Galas, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious work well)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use the good stuff)
- Preheat oven to 375F and place oven rack in lower third position.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine apples and cinnamon; cook in microwave for 3-5 minutes until the apples begin to soften.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the melted butter, milk, and pure vanilla extract; stir until smooth.
- Pour batter into a deep 9-inch pie plate or 8x8x2-inch square baking dish; sprinkle precooked apples evenly over the batter.
- Bake in the lower third of a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely before serving directly from the baking dish.
- Recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13 casserole dish.
- Use apples that hold their shape well and don't exude too much moisture during baking, such as Galas, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious.
- This cake is best eaten within 24 hours because the high sugar content will absorb moisture from the apples and the atmosphere, causing the cake to get soggy over time.
- For a rustic presentation, bake in a cast iron skillet.