It’s officially autumn, my favorite season. I love it because the changes that take place in the fall are tangible—cool breezes, the occasional warm sunny day, and the spectacular colors of turning leaves.
It reminds me of my school days and where I grew up. Maybe that’s because it’s so beautiful there—especially in autumn. (It’s a secret that we have beautiful, rural countryside in NJ.)
I indulged that nostalgic feeling by spending the day “back at the ranch”. I traveled an hour west to Mackey’s Orchard to pick up the apple cider that would later inspire this cake. Their fresh cider is sweet, cold and delicious. It’s no surprise it doesn’t last long in our house.
After that I visited with my Mom. She has an ancient apple tree in her yard that produces gnarly, ugly Delicious Apples. I picked probably 10 pounds of them with bugs swarming my face and threatening to fly into my eyes and nose. OK, that’s one of the not so beautiful things about rural living. Swarming bugs. Lots of them.
And the final destination was Genesis Farms to pick up CSA veggies. Apples and white raspberries were the “pick-your-own” this week. The raspberries were ivory with a tinge of pink. The best ones—smack in the middle of a big prickly patch. So, since I wanted those fresh, sweet berries that’s where I ventured. It was worth it although I felt creepy crawly with imaginary critters for the rest of the day.
This weekend we ventured back to Mom’s to help her with some chores. She and I journeyed out for the afternoon while hubby and the dogs communed with nature. We stopped at Stoneyfield Orchards run by Harry Schneiber who taught vocational agriculture at the high school I attended. Harry is now 95 years old and when we pulled up to the stand to get seckel pears for me and peaches for Mom, he was sitting in his lawn chair in the garage. Just like he always has all the years I’ve been getting fruit from him.
So, I brought all the loot home and got busy. There’s applesauce and pickled seckel pears tucked neatly on a shelf in my pantry. And, this beautiful cake is adorning the island in our kitchen—half eaten mind you. You’ll notice the raspberries are red and not white. I made the cake three times before it turned out the way I wanted, and well, frankly, the white raspberries didn’t last that long!
Apple Cider Cake
2 teaspoons EnerG Egg Replacer
4 tablespoons warm water
1 cup gluten free flour blend*
2/3 cup corn flour (finely ground cornmeal)
1/3 cup sorghum flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup sugar
8 tablespoons Earth Balance, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup apple cider
Fruit for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the EnerG Egg Replacer and warm water together, whisking until there are no lumps. Set aside.
Whisk together in a large bowl: the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer stir together the Earth Balance and sugar until creamy. This will take a few minutes on high speed. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Then add the EnerG Egg Replacer gel.
Set the mixer to a slower speed and alternate adding the flour (in thirds) and the cider. Scrape the bowl and continue to mix the batter just until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix.
Spoon the thick batter into a greased and floured 9-inch cake pan. Garnish with fruit. I chose peaches and raspberries but thinly sliced apples or pears would work well with this cake.
Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack then invert onto a pretty plate. Voila!
Note: I used Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Multi Blend Flour