Sunday Remnants

January 22, 2012

I have never been a fan of apples. Just hasn't been my thing. The crunch, the tartness, the sweetness, none of it ever really appealed to me. Until a few months ago when there was some kind of seismic shift in my taste buds. I think it might have started after Thanksgiving when I had a leftover bag of cranberries and decided on a whim to give Ina's cranberry apple cake recipe a try. I only planned on having a taste while letting Adam and the kids gobble it down, but that never happened. I ended up eating the majority of that darn cake. 

From the apple cake, I progressed to eating apple slices. That probably sounds strange, right? Who doesn't grow up in America not eating apple slices? (it's right up there with not eating apple pie, right?) I cut up apple slices on a near daily basis for my kids and yet they were never anything I'd felt compelled to actually put into my own mouth. And then things got really radical when I found myself drawn to apple juice and I even made a couple of crock pots full of mulled apple cider. 

So this morning, I found myself craving apples and dreaming of apple muffins. I eagerly peeled and chopped in anticipation and even took pics of the pretty remnants.  It turns out it wasn't the perfect recipe, but that's the nice part of baking on a Sunday morning. There's no pressure to have perfection and it's fun to try something spontaneously.  But if you do have a good recipe for apple muffins, please share. I am happy to pass along the Barefoot Contessa recipe that initiated this recent apple craze. I am actually thinking about giving it a try with pears in place of cranberries, doesn't that sound good, too?

Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.
Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
likeschocolate said...

I make this apple cake that is so yummy, but give me chocolate any day. It is funny how your taste buds change as you get older. I love peas and tomatoes though as a child I would have rathered die than eat them.

Emily M. said...

apple muffins, via smitten kitchen (they are fabulous):

three cheers for apple love! i recently discovered i like apple slices + a slice of sharp cheese. delicious. until a few weeks ago i was strictly against the savory-sweet combo. and tea! but what i would really love to develop a taste for is coffee. and wine. seriously, what's wrong with me? who knows, maybe it'll happen. anyway, i was thinking it was an age thing, but you know, rowan has been doing this a lot lately. the look of wonderment on his face when he suddenly likes something new is priceless.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Yes, taste is a very funny thing isn't it? Brussel sprouts were something I detested as a kid, but now I love them...especially roasted with little bit of olive oil. I have never been a coffee fan, but unlike Emily I don't have a strong desire to become one. And Kelleyn, I think I have to agree with you on the chocolate, too. Apples are good, but they aren't chocolate.

Emily, thanks for the recipe! Can't wait to try it.

Juniper said...

Funny!! I have had the same relationship to apples, right up until the last few weeks and then there was some wierd shift ad I have been craving them. I do have a good apple muffin recipe- will try to find it and send it to you! Pears and cranberries sound very nice too! Or add in some almond flour in place of the normal flour- almonds and pears are such a good combination.

Emily said...

I don't have anything useful to add to this conversation, but it makes me happy to think about a seismic shift in taste buds. Thanks for the recipe, and enjoy your apples!

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