I often wonder why pumpkins get all the glory in the fall. Maybe it’s because the green mermaid company started squirting the flavor in everything, or maybe it goes all the way back to that little cartoon-kid and his obsession with the ‘great’ one. However it started, I find it disheartening that the ‘other’ fall flavor doesn’t get much credit.
Growing up at the farm house, my spring, summer, and fall were filled with visions of apple blossoms, bees, buds, and finally tiny round green promises that I watched grow into big beauties.
In the fall our lawn was never mowed in the straight lines and patterns that I so often enjoyed creating on the John Deere. Instead, there where zigzags. Swaths of grass cut on strange angles were evidence of my trips back and forth to the tree line so I could pick another snack off a low branch. The neighbor’s horse benefited, too. A handful of imperfect apple always made it across the fence to old JoAnn as I roared by.
We had many varieties of trees. Early apples, mid-season, and late, we were rarely without the fruit from August through October. This translates to a lot of apple recipes in my family. Here is one of the most recent – don’t let the Gluten Free label put you off, it will surprise you, and delight you. Maybe we can all work together and give the apple her glory days back.
Spiced Applesauce Snack Cake
7 ½ ounces gluten free flour blend*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)
¼ cup light brown sugar (packed) (1 ¾ ounces)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
(Optional – local apple butter for topping.)
*Gluten Free Flour Blend
24 ounces white rice flour (4 ½ cups, plus 1/3 cup) (one bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand)
7 ½ ounces brown rice flour (1 2/3 cups)
7 ounces potato starch (not potato flour) (1 1/3 cup)
3 ounces tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) (3/4 cup)
¾ ounce nonfat milk powder (3 tablespoons)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set oven rack in the center position.
Lightly grease one 8 inch square cake pan, or two bread loaf pans. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of pan(s) and line the bottoms. Lightly grease parchment as well.
Whisk together gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (do not use stand mixer for this recipe) whisk eggs, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until well combined and eggs are light in color. Slowly add melted butter while whisking until combined. Incorporate apple sauce and vanilla. Last, add the dry flour mixture and thoroughly combine. Mixture should be smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake until cake tester comes out clean – about 30 minutes – rotating pan(s) half way through baking time.
Cool completely before storing. Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.