Fall is my favorite season – I love the crisp air, football games, scarves, boots, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes. And most of all, I love fall baking – what better season is there to appreciate apple cobbler fresh from the oven? And what other season can you get away with drizzling caramel on everything, or depleting the supermarket bounty of pumpkin puree?
I’ve been so swamped with schoolwork, studying for one last SAT, and
writing sitting in front of a blank page waiting for inspiration for my college essays, that I haven’t even done any fall baking and it’s already October. Thank God I am never, ever, ever (a la Taylor Swift) taking the SAT again after today – which calls for celebration, in the form of Jewish apple cake!
My mom first bought these round cakes with a crunchy outside filled with tender apple slices from Whole Foods. They came in a paper liner, which I would scrape the crumbs off of because it was that good. I scoured the Internet for a copycat recipe, but never found one that was specifically for the Whole Foods version. I did find out though, that this cake is not called ‘Jewish’ because it is particularly religious, but because it is made without dairy (orange juice and oil instead of milk and butter). It’s also apparently more regional than cultural.
P.S. I had the kitchen window open when the loaves were baking, so there was this glorious breeze and the cinnamon and apple scents wafted all over the house and I really just can’t get over how perfect the weather was for making this cake. Also I took these pictures during the sunset and got this gorgeous golden wash of light.
Recipe: Jewish Apple Cake
- 4-5 large granny smith apples
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 C + 4 TB sugar, divided use
- 3 C flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 C vegetable oil
- 1/2 C orange juice
- 1 T vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease 2 8.5×4.5″ baking pans. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and toss with the cinnamon and 4 TB sugar, until all the surfaces are coated.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and rest of the sugar. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl in 2-3 additions, incorporating each time. Mix on medium speed until smooth, then divide the batter into two bowls.
- Pour half the batter from one of the two bowls into a greased pan. Generously layer apple slices on top, then pour the rest of the batter on top of the apple slices. End with pressing a single layer of the apples into the batter. Repeat with the other loaf pan and the second bowl of batter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top (optional), and bake for about 1 hour 15 min, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Number of servings (yield): 2 loaves