16 December, 2017

Fire That Stove Up. I've Got A Powerful Hankering To Bake Something

I musta gone nuts or something. I became a cooking fool today.

I started off this morning about six-thirty, slicing up a loaf of whole wheat bread I made (well, the bread making machine, actually), yesterday. I let my loaves sit and rest in open-air for about 24-hours so that the crusts firm up. So, we have sannich fixin's for the rest of the week.

Next, at about 8:30 AM, I ran (drove) up to One Mall, our huge new grocery/everything store on the highway, to get some of the stuff I need for another pork rib dinner. When I got home, I mixed the dry ingredients and rubbed each of the monster rib bits, then covered them and stuck them in the fridge to slowly marinate, if that's the right term. To absorb some of the flavors of the rub over the weekend till they get tossed in the Instant Pot on Monday.

Then, after that, Dianna and I had been trying to convince Karen our housekeeper, that she needed to do an apple crumble for dessert for a dinner she's going to. Only trouble was, we had no recipe.

We contacted Bruce Steege, a cooking fool friend of ours for any ideas. After a bit of prodding, he sent back an old recipe he retrieved from his grandmother's Amish cookbook. It did call for a couple of things I wasn't sure about, cream of tartar, and buttermilk.

I've never seen buttermilk in the stores here in Corozal, so I went online to look and see if I could find a substitute. There was an easy one. Just add some lemon juice to milk and away you go.

Pretty much the same thing with the cream of tartar, which is one of those things that gets right into the chemistry of cooking. I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned more than I wanted to know about all that. I did find a substitute for that as well.

I rewrote the recipe so that it was a bit clearer than what Bruce had sent me, and I included the tips for the two substitutions that were needed.
Bruce's Grandmother's Amish Apple Crumble Cake
This is the first thing I've baked that I built totally from scratch. I peeled the apples, mixed all the ingredients, used the substitutions, partly to see if they would work, and partly, because we didn't have access to buttermilk or to cream of tartar. I even separated the whites of two eggs by using the time-honored method of cracking the shell and then passing the yolk back and forth between the two shell halves. Dianna told me how to do that. Easy peasy.

Old-Fashioned Amish Apple Crumble Cake

Thanks to Bruce Steege for the recipe, which is from his grandmother’s Amish cookbook.

This makes a moist coffee cake that is enhanced when eaten with applesauce, peaches, or pears. It needs no icing.

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Cups brown sugar
  • ½ Cup shortening, butter, or margarine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Cups peeled, diced apples
  • 2 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup buttermilk (See substitute #1 below)
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Cream of tartar (See substitute #2 below)
  • Mix flour and brown sugar together.
  • Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.
  • Take out 1 Cup of the crumb mixture for topping.
  • Add to remaining crumb mixture, the egg, buttermilk (See #1 Below), soda, cream of tartar (See #2 below), followed by the apples and cinnamon, in that order.
  • Mix well after each addition.
  • Pour into a greased 9”x13” baking pan.
  • Sprinkle reserved Cup of crumb mixture over top.
  • Bake at 375 (f) for 25-30 minutes. You may need to bake it a bit longer, to cook down the apples.
  • Use a toothpick to test when cake is browned, it should come out clean.
#1 - Substitute milk and lemon, or vinegar. In a 1-cup measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Top the lemon juice with skim, low fat or whole milk. Stir and let sit for two minutes.
#2 - Substitute fresh lemon juice or white vinegar for the cream of tartar. For every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in the recipe, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. ... Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice per egg white.

Dianna and I just cut into it and gave it a try. Beginner's luck you might say because it just tasted superb!

I used a bunch more apples than the recipe called for. The recipe only called for two cups of apples. I diced up four Washington state Granny Smith apples. Amazing, we're 3,000+ miles from there and we can get fresh Washington Apple Commision approved and tagged apples, and I used all of them, four-plus cups - except the cores. I used an 11" x 18" pan instead of the 9" x 13" called for. Must have been the extra apples that helped fill up the space.


Vivien said...

You have been busy and the crumble cake looks delicious!

Winjama said...

Hi Vivien,
Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, I was busy yesterday. That kitchen was jumping all day long. Doing the recipe actually started out as an experiment to help Karen with a foolproof, simple recipe she can use for this dinner she's going to. I'm glad we did it. The recipe has gone into my recipe book because it's easy and because it's just plain yummers!

Winjama said...

Well, this is a first. I got an email, generated because Julian posted the following comment:
JRinSC has left a new comment on your post "Fire That Stove Up. I've Got A Powerful Hankering ...":
Darn, that looks GOOD!
Posted by JRinSC to Winjama at 16/12/17 22:27
Yet, when I followed the link in the email, the same way I've done hundreds of times, no comment has appeared.
The reply box that I'm using right now, appears as normal so I can reply to a comment, which I'm doing as well:
Hi Julian,
Thanks so much for your [phantom] comment. It does taste good. I might have another piece in the morning with some coffee.

JRinSC said...

Well... darn again! I checked after I posted and it was there. -- and now it is not. So this was s a test!! Hope it shows up Dave 😃

Winjama said...

Hi Julian,
This time, things look normal. I went through your previous comment three or four times, never could get it to post correctly. I don't know what happened.It allowed me to post a reply to your comment, it's just the comment disappeared somewhere. Curiouser and curiouser.

JRinSC said...

Yeah, I seem to have that effect on my computer too! 😎 Anyhow way, I hope to reproduce your cake someday as it sure looks good!