Foodieobsessed's Blog


Apple Crumble Cake

This recipe was originally for shortbread bars but I decided to make it into more of a cake. Totally delicious and easy! Great for pot lucks or the next time you have company for dinner. It would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, if you go for that sort of thing. YUM

You will need a food processor for this recipe if you do it the way I did.

Apple Crumble Cake

For Cake:
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBS cold butter
1 egg (cold)
1/4 cup cold water (more or less)

For apple topping:
5 apples of your choice, pealed and sliced into thin pieces (I used a mixture of pink lady and gravenstein)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup turbinado *raw* sugar (if you don’t have this, just use more white)
2 tsp of cinnamon, divided
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 glass pan.

2. In your food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Cut in 4 TBS of cold butter and pulse until the butter has disappeared into the flour (you may see small pieces), about 7-8 pulses.
3. Add egg to flour mixture and continue to pulse, slowly pouring in water until your mixture creates a VERY thick batter. Do not over pulse.
4. Spread batter into the bottom of your pan with a spatula. It will be thick. Tap the pan on your counter top to make sure there are no air bubbles.
5. Evenly layer apples on top of batter, pressing in slightly to make sure they are secure. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of cinnamon evenly.
6. Rinse out the food processor bowl and blade. Dry thoroughly. Place butter, sugars, and remaining cinnamon and pulse until it creates a crumbly mixture. Spread evenly over apples.
7. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Halfway through remove from oven and with a big spoon press down on the apples lightly to distribute the juices over the cake. Replace in oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly.

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Cold Oven Pound Cake

This is a beloved recipe in my house. The Hubbs was exceptionally close with his grandparents as I was to mine. His Grandma Francis was a complete hoot and made the most amazing baked goods. She would bake dozens and dozens of cookies at Christmas and gave them as gifts. Her most treasured baked good was her cold oven pound cake; it was a cake for any occasion and always welcome. She would make these caked in threes or fours because they tended to be devoured by the cake, not the slice.

I had some trouble with this cake early in my marriage. Grandma Francis sent me one of her bunt pans and Hubbs had transcribed the recipe for me from his Grandma over the phone, yet everytime I attempted the cake would bubble and boil over in the oven and make a spectacular mess. A year or so after Grandma Francis passed away I received a church cookbook the recipe had been printed in and low an behold, Hubbs has called for *two pounds* of sugar instead of one. No wonder they turned out so badly!

As far as cake goes this one is dense. Ladies you may as well take a big ol’ slice of it and apply to your thigh because that’s where it will go. As pound cake goes this is still my absolute favorite though and so worth a little extra excercise!

I have tweaked this recipe only a fraction from her amazing original recipe. I implore you to try it both ways (if your waistline dares) because both are delicious. I have put * next to my changes and listed the originals at the bottom.

This cake would be delicious with a different type of extract (almond, lemon, orange, etc). Follow this recipe IN ORDER of ingredients listed and do NOT preheat oven! Spray your pan thoroughly as this cake will stick!

Grandma Francis’ Cold Oven Pound Cake
—-
1/2lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter*, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1lb confectionary (powdered) sugar
1 tsp salt *
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups AP flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water

1. In bowl of an electric mixer beat butter until soft and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one at a time until combined.
3. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until combined.
4. Add salt, baking powder, and flour. Beat until just combined.
5. Pour water in and beat until a very thick batter forms.
6. Use Pam for baking (w/flour) and spray a bunt pan thoroughly.
7. Add cake batter and smooth into an even top.
8. Place pan in oven and close the door. Turn oven to 350 and cook for one hour or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

*Grandma Francis always used margarine. It does give the cake a slightly different texture/flavor.
*because of said margarine additional salt was not needed.

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Cheese grits (or pap, or polenta)

Have you ever had cheese grits? Or polenta? Or pap? They are all the same delicious mixture of cornmeal cooked in water or milk with a ton of cheese mixed in, some eggs, and baked (at least in my world). You can certainly omit the eggs and baking portion and have this “soft” but I like to make it more of a casserole.

The Hubbs really got me making this regularly. He is very much into military history and specifically that of the Rhodesian army. This is a favorite of theirs and is generally eaten at Braai (barbecues) or as a side dish or for breakfast. If you have any Southern in you or Italian this is also very similar to grits/polenta, in fact they are the same thing!

When shopping for your grits buy any kind of cornmeal or grits or polenta. My bag says “stone ground polenta” but I have done this with success with plain old cornmeal from the store. You can mix up the cheese as you like. Parmesan is delicious on top instead of more cheddar. I use whatever I have in the fridge!

You can use a big Pyrex baking dish or a deep round baking dish for this.

I add hot sauce and mustard to my grits to compliment the cheddar cheese. Serve with your favorite grilled meats and a salad, yum! This is a fabulous dish for pot lucks and is great hot or at room temperature.

Cheese grits

5 cups water (or 3 cups water, 2 cups milk)
3 tbs butter
1 1/2 cup grits (or cornmeal)
3 dashes franks hot sauce (or siracha or your favorite hot sauce! Add more if you like it spicy!!!)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded or cut into small cubes)
2 eggs
2 tbs water (or milk)
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
—-

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking dish with your nonstick spray of choice (I use pam). Place a large sauce pan over medium heat and add butter and water (and milk if using). Bring to a simmer.
2. When liquid is simmering whisk in grits slowly (keep whisking!! You don’t want lumps) and hot sauce, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Let simmer stirring often for 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese slowly until melted.
3. In small bowl mix eggs, 2 tbs water/milk, and Dijon.
4. Turn off heat under grits. Whisking vigorously or using a wooden spoon slowly incorporate egg mixture to grits. Immediately poor into your baking dish.
5. Top with remaining half cup of cheese and bake for 35 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

*I do an additional 3-5 minutes under the broiler to get the cheese brown and delicious looking!

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Brown Butter Balsamic Asparagus

We served this with Brown Sugar Meatloaf which was really tasty. This would be a great side for Thanksgiving and turn any asparagus hater into a lover!

Brown Butter Balsamic Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus (about 1.5 pounds), steamed 5 minutes and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tbs butter

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Place butter in medium saute pan. Let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium low until it turns golden brown.

2. Add balsamic vinegar and let cook for 30-60 seconds (it depends on how hot your pan is) until it forms a sauce.

3. Salt and pepper asparagus. Add to brown butter mixture until warm and ready to be served.