Do you have a dish for which you are known? Something homemade, something you do particularly well, something for which you get requests? Do you make a dish for which you’ll be remembered?
As adults, what foods will our children look back on nostalgically? I worry that our children’s generation will consider chicken nuggets and frozen pizza their comfort foods. Who is preserving your family recipes?
My maternal grandmother wasn’t much of a cook – she was more likely to serve treats from a bakery than from her own oven - yet she left a culinary legacy in the form of her apple cake recipe. There are an amazing number of things you can do with apples, but I’ve never seen this cake anywhere but on my family’s table. It’s a simple, quick, biscuit-like snack cake suitable for casual dessert or serving with coffee.
Nana Joyce’s Apple Cake
1 ½ Cups flour
1/3 Cup sugar (set 3 Tablespoons aside)
2 Teaspoons baking powder
½ Teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup butter
½ Cup milk
3 or more apples, pared and sliced (local Cortland apples are good for baking)
½ Teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
Mix together flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add egg and milk and mix just until combined into a soft dough. Spread in a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Place apples on dough, overlapping slices. Combine remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Combine melted butter and maple syrup and pour over warm cake.
Apples are in season now, pick some up at your local farmers’ market or, better yet, pick your own. Make some apple-cinnamon-scented memories. It’s time to become known for a homemade dish, you can start with Nana Joyce’s apple cake recipe.