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Loving Autumn Apples + Fresh Appletini’s + The Best Fresh Apple Cake!

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Welcome Autumn!  I am ready to celebrate the foods of Autumn, beginning with apples.

spoons

Apple Parmesan Peach Appetizer Spoons

10 appetizer spoon servings

parmesan

3 Parmesan crisps

1/3 Gala apple, chopped fine

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons peach balsamic vinegar (I like Oliveto brand for this recipe)

6 macadamia nuts, chopped

Place the chopped apple in a bowl and pour orange juice over the apples. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place bowl in refrigerator.  Break Parmesan crisps into small pieces and place the pieces in the 10 appetizer spoons.  In a small bowl mix together honey and peach balsamic vinegar.

Remove apple from refrigerator and place apple pieces on top of the Parmesan crisp pieces.  Drizzle the honey and balsamic vinegar mixture over the apples.  Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top of the apples.

Keep Apples From Turning Brown

The trick to keeping apples from turning brown is to limit oxygen exposure to the cut surface of the apple.  Place orange juice mixed with honey (2 tablespoons honey to one cup orange juice) next to the cutting board as you are slicing the apples. There is a compound in honey that stops the enzyme responsible for oxidation.   Dip any cut surface of the apple into the orange juice mixture immediately. Immerse apple slices in the orange juice mixture and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 apples greenapples red

apple martini

Fresh Appletini

(It takes a couple of days for the apple and cinnamon stick to infuse the vodka, but definitely worth the wait!)

2 “tini’s”

Chill martini glasses in freezer prior to serving

Place 1 cup vodka, 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into slices in a glass pitcher. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Place 4 ounces of  the cinnamon apple infused vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Add 1 ounce triple sec.  Shake vigorously.  Strain infused vodka into two martini glasses. Top each martini with chilled Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider. Garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Appletini

Apple Cider in Apple Heaven

We are in the center of “Apple Heaven” in Roanoke Virginia.  It’s always a treat to sip on hard apple cider in autumn.  I asked my “twenty-something” niece for recommendations on Virginia hard cider because cider is her beverage of choice and she recommended:  Bold Rock ~ simple, delicious, and local (Charlottesville) and Woodchuck ~ amber flavor with wonderful sweetness, tastes natural and it’s gluten-free.

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Sandy’s Fresh Apple Cake

This recipe was generously shared by my bubbly friend Sandy who is a wonderful cook and a fabulous cake baker!  She mentioned that all ovens vary so to watch the cake carefully, it may not take as long to bake in your oven. She also advised  that a knife should not “come out clean” when baking a cake, but it should have a little of the moistness of the cake batter on it…if the knife comes out clean then the cake will be dry.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease and flour tube pan.

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cups plain flour

3 cups diced (Granny Smith) apples

1 cup coconut (optional)

Place oil and sugar in mixing bowl and blend with mixer.  Add eggs one at a time, beating as added.  Add salt, soda, cinnamon and vanilla.  Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring to combine and then fold in apples and coconut.  Bake in tube pan that has been greased and floured.  Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Ovens vary in temperature so watch the cake carefully.

 Sauce:

In a large sauce pan combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon  baking soda.  Bring to a rapid boil stirring constantly (about 2 minutes).

Pour over cake while still in cake pan.  Run a knife around pan to make sure sauce seeps down sides and around hole in the middle.  May have to wait for sauce to seep into cake.

Let cake cool in pan 1 hour and a half before turning out onto a cake plate. Let cool 2 to 3 hours. Enjoy!

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