Eat Your Heart Out: Apple hill cake

With autumn finally beginning, now is the best time to break out all of those apple and spice recipes. This week, I had the opportunity to try my hand at a recipe for apple hill cake which had originally been created by my great-aunt. Although she was a far better baker than I, a humble college student, could ever hope to be, I found that the instructions for this cake were pretty straightforward, which makes for quite a relief as midterm season approaches. Hopefully the simple indulgence of apples and cake may allow us all to partake in this wonderful season, even if only for a little while.

To start, you’re going to want to combine two cups of sugar with two eggs and a half of a cup of vegetable oil in a bowl. You should mix these ingredients together a bit with a fork so that there is an even consistency. The mixing isn’t all too important during this initial step, however, as you’ll be mixing the batter several more times.

The real trick to making this cake is the dicing of the apples. You’re going to need approximately four cups, which I have found is about four to five normal sized apples. For this recipe, I used Honeycrisps, but you may use other types like Gala or Granny Smith, depending on how sweet or sour you would like the cake to be. The only real guideline I can give here is to use a harder variety so that the final product has more body to it, rather than a mealy consistency. With your apples at hand, you’re going to want to peel them and then cut through their cores twice, so that each apple is quartered. Next, proceed to dice the apples so that they somewhat resemble half inch cubes. While you don’t need to strive for perfection here, the size of the pieces remains important so that they cook evenly all the way through. This step will be a relatively long process, but once it’s complete, you will be nearly done with the batter!

Once all of the apples are cut, put them in the bowl with the sugar and proceed to add the following: two cups of flour, one teaspoon each of salt and nutmeg, and two teaspoons each of cinnamon and baking soda. When all the ingredients are in the bowl, mix them together with a humble fork until the batter is consistent throughout. Remember, this will take some effort because the batter is quite chunky (it is made with twice as much apple as flour after all). Once the batter is mixed, pour it into a greased 9-by-13 pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. Once done baking, allow to cool until it is warm and serve with a generous helping of whipped cream. Now throw on your favorite sweater and bask in the flavors of autumn as you celebrate this most special time of year. Happy baking!

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