It feels good to be here in this space again. My comfort space of writing and eating and sharing my creations with you. I don't know where the time has gone since my last post but I'm glad I can say I made an appearance here in the month of September. My favorite month, harvest month, blood moon eclipse month, apple foraging month, the MOFGA Common Ground Fair Month, wrap me up in a warm blanket and give me a hot beverage month. Glorious September! She came so quickly and is gone too soon.
This month has also had its burdensome moments. In late august we were told that we have to leave the house and garden we've called home for 5 years. Did I mention Nantucket is in a housing crisis? As renters I knew this time was looming in the future, I just had always envisioned us being the ones to initiate the move. This isn't a complaint, but merely the facts of what's happening in our lives. And it's a stark truth that is happening to so many folks out here.
So...apples, yeah apples and the act of picking them roadside or abandoned orchard side in Maine make me think happy positive thoughts. We were in Maine earlier in the month for my lovely sister's wedding. It was a magical affair on the Maine coast with, yup , you guessed it, apple trees aplenty on the property. We had to cut our annual fall trip to Maine short becasue of so much to do here back home while we prep for the big move (to where is still up in the air). But before we headed home, I made sure to gather up a bushel of apples to take with us.
Maine apples are varied windows into the past. Each feral tree a forgotten heirloom variety all together different from the next. As you drive up the state and look out of your windows you'll notice a tree here and then there and pretty soon you'll be seeing them all over. Be sure to bring some empty baskets and totes on your journey for frequent picking stops. The seaside trees seem to bear exceptional tasting fruits, I deem it the cause of a healthy dose of salty sea air.
My mother made these delicious looking blueberry crumb cakes for a brunch the day following the wedding. I immediately was like, "yeah, I definitely need to make a crumb cake when I return home". Apple spice seemed the most appropriate flavor for said cake and my cast iron skillet was just calling to me, haha. We're pretty tight, that skillet and I. I wanted to incorporate oats somehow and thought the crumb topping was a perfect vehicle for them. The ending result is a hearty, warming, perfectly spiced cake, lovely for those chilly fall afternoon teatimes.
Happy fall everyone. I hope you'll be seeing me here more often from now on.
Recipe after the jump...
Apple Skillet Oat Crumb Cake
makes one 8" cake
Spice Cake Ingredients
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rapadura
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Apple Filling Ingredients
- 2 large tart baking apples peeled and cored and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 tablespoons rapadura
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- squeeze of lemon juice
Oat Crumb Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup rapadura
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons vegan shortening or margarine (palm oil or raw coconut oil will work)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350˚F with an 8" seasoned cast iron skillet on the center rack for 20-30 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients for the spice cake layer. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients for the spice cake layer. Keep separate for now.
Mix the apple filling ingredients together in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients for the crumb topping layer. Cut in the shortening and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients.
Add the wet spice cake ingredients to the dry spice cake ingredients and stir together until incorporated.
Remove hot skillet from oven using a potholder and place on heat proof surface such as your stove top. Add 2 tablespoons of canola to the hot skillet and swirl the skillet around so that the oil coats the bottom of the pan. Add cake batter to skillet, and it should sizzle. Layer the apples on top of the cake batter. Then layer the oat crumb topping over the apples.
Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the edges of the cake start to come away from the side of the skillet.
Allow cake to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Cake will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.