Best-Ever Applesauce Cake
Makes 10-12 servings
Try this foolproof cake at the height of apple season, when you’ve got a fresh batch of homemade applesauce. Of course, it’s still wonderful with store-bought applesauce any time of year! Be prepared – you will be asked for the recipe.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce, preferably homemade
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube cake pan.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until lightened, about 20 seconds, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time; set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat applesauce until just warmed through (do not boil); stir in baking soda (it will become bubbly).
Add the applesauce mixture to the sugar-butter mixture and beat on low speed just to combine. Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, beating until well incorporated. Stir in the nuts and pour into the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen
These chewy, fragrant cookies are full of old-fashioned flavor. They’re a staple in our house, so I usually bake a double batch and freeze the leftovers. (Stored airtight, they’ll last up to 6 months in the freezer.)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut oil or trans-fat-free solid shortening (such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), softened
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar, plus ¼ cup for rolling cookies
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup molasses
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat the coconut oil or shortening and butter together until blended and lightened, 30 seconds. Add 2 cups sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat at medium speed until smooth, then blend in the molasses. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day ahead.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Place the reserved ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl.
Break off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll each into a ball. Roll in the sugar to coat, then place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until firm, 10-12 minutes.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
My mother made this pie every Thanksgiving. It’s a little tricky, because you can’t use an electric mixer – you have to do it by hand to get a really silky custard. And don’t forget plenty of nutmeg on top!
- One Rich Pie Crust Dough round (see recipe)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups scalded milk
- Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Roll Pie Crust dough round on lightly floured work surface to ¼-inch thickness; line pie plate and trim off excess. Crimp edges as desired.
In a large bowl with a whisk, beat eggs, sugar, and salt together. Gradually add milk and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared crust and sprinkle nutmeg over generously. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 25-35 minutes more, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Rich Pie Crust Dough
(Makes two 9-inch single-crust pies, or 1 double-crust pie)
This foolproof recipe makes enough crust to make a custard pie now, and another later! Store the extra pie crust for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to a month in the freezer.
- 5 tablespoons ice-cold water
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the water, yolks, and lemon juice; set aside.
Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add half of the butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork, until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut in the remaining butter into the dough until it is pea-sized.
Make a well in the center and add the water-yolk mixture. Stir with a fork, then with your hands, until the dough comes together and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a round. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.