Sunday, December 9, 2007

Teddie's Apple Cake: A Solid 6
Or, There's a Reason for Tradition

The Apple Cake - actually, Teddie's Apple Cake* - had its fans and its detractors when it came to the tasting.

First a disclaimer: I left out the nuts because I have people who don't like nuts (on principle, not allergy).

My father-in-law declared it delicious, and finished his piece.

My mother-in-law liked the flavor, but thought it was a heavy cake, so she ate about 2/3 of her piece. I agree with her, there. Stirring the concrete-like batter gave me an upper-body workout that I never got with my Mom's recipe.

My husband thought it was greasy, and left at least half his slice. With my father-in-laws' delicious famous latkes in abundance, there was enough oil in the meal - and he'd much rather allocate calories to latkes than to cake. [Disclaimer #2: Later, we discover the poor guy was nursing a 102-degree fever, so who knows what he was really tasting. Ergo, your mileage may vary.]

My take: This is a recipe that tastes like 1973, a simpler day culinarily, when it first appeared in the Times and frankly, when we didn't know any better. Raisins figure into this recipe, too, and I thought that seemed somewhat odd. Although I don't mind raisins at all, these must have made contact with the pan and in the cooking took on that icky-bitter metallic taste that sometimes happens to raisin bread that you leave in the toaster too long.

Overall, it tasted pretty good. It had the right balance of sugar and cinnamon, and enough fruit to keep it chunky and interesting. It was the fruit that distracted you from the fact that the cake's moist crumb came courtesy of 1-1/2 cups of oil.

As for a rating? I'd give it a solid 6, because I'm a tough grader when it comes to cakes. This recipe required no baking skill to make, although it was difficult to extract from the bundt pan I used in lieu of a tube pan (I know, I know). This meant that our cake needed minor surgery when I turned it out onto a plate and found a six-inch hunk of the cake still clinging to the pan, where a trove of apples had allowed it to separate from the bulk of the cake. But after extracting the piece from the pan, I just patted it back onto the rest of the cake. No harm done.

Jewish Apple Cake recipe from my Mom to come in the future, once I unearth it and make it.

*NYT login required

No comments: