As one holiday ends and the next phase of fall sets in, we all re-group a bit in preparation. I have always been the biggest fan of this time of year. At the first sign of summer ending, I already have my cinnamon in hand and jazz on repeat. I don't know why jazz music is a fall thing for me, I guess it just takes me back to city life, where fall really shows off. There is just so much magic in the air with every fall of a leaf. You really miss that living on the south west coast. What I would give for a rainy day and and a real need for a sweater.
Fall is also my favorite time for bringing together friends. The year is soon coming to an end and it's time to gather together and share food with the ones you love. I have always had this underlying need to feed people. I think it may just be in my blood. It brings me such joy to create experiences of beauty from the simply mundane. Everyday is a new opportunity to do so, even if it is a quick catch up with an old friend or tuesday night dinner. You have to make every moment count.
With the passing of Halloween this Saturday, I was so excited to fill my weekend with doing such things. Sunday was dedicated to a bit of slow living, in the form of baking, foraging, and re-dressing the table for afternoon tea. It was time to throwout the pumpkin faces and bring out the white tablecloth's and baked treats. I invited over my neighbor and spent the day with her and my roommate just enjoying the little things.
I made an old favorite that my mother used to make when I was a little one: Johnny Appleseed Cake. I made a few health conscious changes to the original recipe that made me feel a bit better about indulging in it. It's the perfect sweet afternoon treat to warm you with a bit of tea and good conversation. What I love about cakes like these, is that they aren't overly sweet and they always look beautifully homemade.
I recommend pairing this with a lovely earl grey or english breakfast tea. This whole post makes me feel like I'm in a cottage in the south of England on a cold smokey autumn day -- and in this day dream there are chicks and a baby calf in the back yard. One day!
- 1/2 cup of butter or I use Earth Balance (vegan)
- 1 3⁄4 cups sweetened applesauce
- 2 cups Spelt Flour or Whole wheat
- 1/2 cup ( or 1 cup if you have a sweet tooth) scant sugar , coconut sugar or raw redefined sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt ( or just a dash )
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup raisins or 1 cup chopped nuts (i like both )
- 3 - 4 apples for top
- 1 half of a lemon
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a large saucepan, combine butter and applesauce, heating over medium til butter melts Remove from heat and blend in all remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined
- Grease cast iron skillet or pan of your liking ( 8" sq or 11 x 7). I like to use coconut oil spray to grease with.
- Pour batter into pan, spreading to edges.
- Nicely slice apple into pieces, making sure to cover with lemon so not to turn brown and arrange layering on top of cake.
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until top springs back when touched.
- Serve warm or cool, plain or with whipped cream.
* I recommend a spiced coconut milk whipped cream.