Mom’s Apple Cake

They say that memory is most closely linked to our sense of smell. This must be true, because nothing brings back the memory of my mother like the smell of apple cake baking in the kitchen. The warm, apple and vanilla-infused air envelops me like a hug from beyond the grave – this is comfort food in the purest sense.

Perhaps I got too wrapped up in the sentimentality, because yesterday I made a huge mistake. I had planned to double the recipe, but after mentally doubling the amount of oil needed, I forgot I’d doubled it and so I doubled it again. Once it was all mixed, it seemed awfully greasy – and I realized what I’d done. Luckily I had just enough apples left to quadruple the recipe. Also luckily, a friend was coming over with her kids, so I had extra mouths to help eat up the excess. I also sent a whole cake home with her. Actually, come to think of it, no one was really complaining.

The ice cream was a last-minute addition. I shamelessly admit that I bought some this morning just for the photograph. Another confession: it looked so good that, after I got my shot, I polished it off with a cup of coffee. Just one of the perks of the job…

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled diced apples (Choose a semi-sweet but firm variety like Gala or Fuji. Washington Red Delicious work nicely too.)
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar (I use brown and I think it gives this even more caramel flavour)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

1.Mix apples and sugar until moist.
2.Add egg, oil and vanilla.
3.Sift in flour, soda and salt together and mix well.
4.Add nuts if using.
5.Pour into 8” x 8” pan, greased.
6.Bake at 175 C/350 F for 45 minutes or until done.