So when I was little, my grandpa used to come visit us in Texas for the holidays. He would leave Georgia right after pecan harvest season. And when he would visit he would bring pecans, peanuts and all these fresh ingredients from the farms. I have a lot of fond memories of him. We would do jigsaw puzzles together in the afternoon. He had an infectious laugh. Sun tea and pumpkin pie were some of his his favorites. He made the best Mayhaw jelly....
Anyway, every season when he would visit, there was always apple cake. It was my favorite. I snacked on it every second I could. And since he passed over 10 years ago, there has been no apple cake. I miss the apple cake. Every year around the change of the seasons, I start to think of him. Grandpa and apple cake.
Needless to say for years I've been on the hunt for the apple cake that would remind me of the one he used to make. And after A LOT of experimenting, I finally came up with a recipe that might not be exactly like his, but certainly must be close. Oh the memories.....
3 large firm fleshed apples of your choice (I used gala)
1 tbsp Apple Cider
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 serving cup of natural unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup chopped pecans (or more if you like it nutty)
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put in a bowl and splash with apple cider and lemon. Set aside.
Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, salt, and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Whisk or sift. Set aside.
In an electric mixer, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, apple sauce and brown sugar together. Add dry ingredients. Mix. Add apples and pecans. Batter will be thick.
Pour into a greased and floured 12 cup bunt pan. (I just spray with Baking Pam). Bake at 350 for 45min to 1 hour. Remove from oven when a knife or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Depending on your oven, it might take longer than an hour. Just keep checking on it.
Let cool in pan. Invert into a wire rack to let finish cooling. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar if you like (I like). Slice and EAT!!
This is GOOOOD. It's spiced. It's apple. And it's SO moist. Last one I made, I kept for 3 days before I finally cut into it. Just as soft, tender, and deliciously moist as day one. Just like Grandpa's apple cake was. This absolutely reminds me of my childhood and the fall. I highly encourage you to make this.
I found a big set of the old puzzles we used to do together the other day. Hopefully, when my little girl gets older, we can build some of the same memories together. Jigsaw puzzles, sweet tea, shelling pecans and apple cake. One of the many reasons fall is my favorite time of the year. Above all others.