Monday, October 7, 2013

New Feature: Archive Recipe of the Week

I’m introducing a new feature to The Messy Apron: Archive Recipe of the Week (ARoW). While trying new recipes and sharing the details is the main objective of this space, I can’t help but wish to revisit some of the good ones.

In some cases, these dishes deserve new, better photos than the ones I posted in the early days, or the ones I took after I had some experience, but still didn’t have proper lighting or even an especially good sample to photograph. In other cases, the written recipe itself needs some improvement. Mostly, though, I want to revisit some of these recipes because I like them. They result in good food that I want to make and serve again and again, and as the seasons in which they are best featured approach, I want to present them here again.

So let’s kick this off with the simple but absolutely delicious Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. I made it this weekend for breakfast and was reminded of what a good fall go-to recipe it should really be. The ingredient measurements are quick and easy and if you do even a little baking, those ingredients should be close at hand. You could even replace the whole wheat pastry flour, which I added to bump up the cake’s Whole Food Quotient, with more white all-purpose flour if that’s what’s in your kitchen.

To make things even easier, you can measure and mix the dry ingredients and the topping ingredients ahead of time, cover them and let then stand until they are ready for you (I would refrigerate the topping mixture). Also to make things easy, I never measure the chopped apple for this cake, but just peel and chop a largish apple and stir it in.

I think this basic, simple cake could be adapted for use with other fruits and nuts, which would make this an even more important recipe to have right in the kitchen at all times, or even to commit to memory. Right now, apples rule, and even if I don’t have time to try anything new, I still have time to make Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake.


Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.

for the streusel topping
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces

for the cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup diced peeled apple, or about 1 large apple

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  To make the streusel topping, combine the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.  Whisk together to combine.  Add the cold butter pieces and work into the flour mixture with a fork or your hands until the butter is evenly distributed in small, crumbly pieces.  Set aside.  (Cover and refrigerate if making ahead.)

2. Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt in a medium-size bowl.  Whisk or sift to combine.  Set aside.  (Cover and store at room temperature if making ahead.)

3.  In another medium-size bowl beat the egg with a whisk.  Whisk in the melted butter.  Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.  (Cover and refrigerate if making ahead.)

4. (Preheat oven to 350 F and peel and chop the apple before proceeding if the other ingredients have been prepared ahead.)  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until almost combined, but a few dry spots remain.  Stir in the apple.

5.  Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or spray it with cooking spray.   Pour the batter into the dish and spread it evenly.  Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the batter.

6.  Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden pick (or other cake-tester) inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Serve warm from the pan.  Cover leftovers, which will keep for a few days.  Rewarm in the microwave.

Makes 9 servings.

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