So, I will be sharing some good apple recipes over the course of this month. (If you want the pear chutney one, email me.) Let me start with two great ones: an apple cake that is truly stupendous and an apple/mussel chowder which is really like a soup because it does not have cream or milk in it.
Apple Dapple Cake
For the cake:
- Butter, for coating the pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled, cored, and medium-dice Granny Smith apples
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, this is very optional. I do not like nuts in my cakes and so do not include them. The cake is outstanding without them.
- 2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Boil glaze ingredients for three minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup and pour the remainder on the hot cake. Cool for two hours and then spread the remaining glaze on top. Keeps well in an air tight container for three or four days. Can also be frozen.
Curried Apple and Mussel Chowder serves 6
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups, peeled and diced tart apples (Granny Smith is a widely available type)
2.5 cups red onions, chopped
2 cups bias-cut leeks, both white and tender green parts
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups shellfish or chicken stock
1 tsp. toasted and crushed coriander seed
1 tsp. toasted and crushed fennel seed
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 lbs scrubbed mussels, beards removed
pinch of cayenne pepper
garnish with a bit of chopped fennel fronds
In a medium pan, heat one tbsp of oil and sauté the apples over moderately high heat until lightly browned. Set aside.
In a stockpot, heat remaining oil. Add the onions, leeks and curry powder and sauté until just beginning to soften, but not brown. Add the wine, stock and toasted spices, fennel and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mussels. Simmer, covered until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Add the apples and cayenne and heat through. Remove and discard any mussels that do not open. Retain 18 mussels in their shells for garnish. Remove the shells from the remaining mussels and serve. Garnish with a bit of chopped fennel fronds and the mussels in their shells. If you want a bit of luxury, add a bit of cream to the soup.