My mom was a twin, and her twin is my favorite aunt, Tia D. One thing I inherited from them is a love of cooking, especially baking. When my mom was still alive, she would go visit my aunt and they would hit all the estate sales, thereby adding to their impressive collection of bake-ware.
Over the past couple years, my auntie has kindly been giving me odds and ends out of her collection. In January, I was the lucky recipient of the following mold:
Thank you so much, Tia D! Of course, I was just itching to make something, and hopefully Clean Out the Pantry, as well.
One of the recurring features of this blog is something I call “Cleaning Out the Pantry.” I really dislike wasting food – both of my parents grew up during the Great Depression, and their attitudes about food and waste certainly affected me. So, when I see odds and ends that need to be used up, I start hunting for appropriate recipes so that nothing goes to waste. I also wanted something wholesome (okay, no laughing in the peanut gallery!) , so I turned to my wonderful King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains. More after the jump . . . .
The recipe calls for cornmeal, apple butter, and whole wheat flour, all of which I had on hand and really needed to use. I tweaked the recipe a bit, and substituted white whole wheat flour, some homemade candied walnuts, and I eliminated the glaze. The result? Master Chow loved this cake and asked me to put it on the repeat list. I thought it was a tad too sweet, but I usually think that about desserts and everyone always disagrees with me, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The candied walnuts were fantastic – they created almost a toffee-caramely-type crust on the top of the cake. That was my favorite part!
A cooking note: store your cornmeal in the freezer – it goes rancid very quickly. Before you use it, give it a sniff test. It should smell like corn, not musty or rancid. If it does smell “off,” do NOT use it, or your entire cake could end up tasting pretty bad!
Harvest Apple Pound Cake
Adapted from a recipe in King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains
Yield: one 10-inch tube or 12-inch Bundt cake, 20 servings
Center a baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the pan of your choice, or use a baking cooking spray (that’s what I used). Sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped nuts in the bottom of the pan, and set aside.
1-1/4 cup (6 oz.) whole yellow cornmeal
1 cup (3-3/8 oz.) white whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup (4-1/4 oz.) unbleached bread flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick (4 oz.)) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar (10-1/2 oz.)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (9-1/2 oz.) spiced apple butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. bourbon
1-3/4 cups coarsely chopped toasted nuts, or candied nuts, divided
Whisk together the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together the butter and cream cheese in a large mixer until no lumps remain. Add the sugar gradually, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the apple butter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the bourbon and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the pan (especially if it has a dark interior) on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. I had a little over a cup of apple butter, so mine took about 75 minutes to bake. remove from the oven and place the cake, in the pan, on a rack; cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, invert the cake out of tis pan onto a cooling rack, and cook completely before glazing. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving.