This was a rough weekend - the kind that is really only made bearable by togetherness. When we were invited to a community pot luck this evening I looked in the fruit bin and decided to make use of some apples and bake a cake. I overlapped the apple slices on top of the batter to keep them from sinking into the cake - which is always a distinct possibility. Once baked the apples bonded to create a sweet crust for the moist cake beneath. It occurred to me as I placed it on the buffet, that like the apple slices, we hold each other up when we are together, and I am so grateful for community.
Based on this recipe by Marian Burros for the New York Times
1.5 cups sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cup unbleached flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 apples, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced, tossed in juice of 1/2 lemon
Demerara or cane sugar and zest from one lemon, for topping
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, then add gradually to the wet ingredients.
Butter a 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Fill the pan with batter, smoothing to make even. Overlap the apple slices on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with Demerara sugar and lemon zest.
Bake 1 hour, approximately in center of oven. Put under broiler for one minute if needed for color. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Serve plain or with whipped cream.
Harissa Roasted POTATOES
Christopher Kimball | Milk Street
2 lbs potatoes, washed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
4 oz shallots (about 4 small) peeled and diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons harissa, divided
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice plus lemon wedges to serve
Heat the oven to 400°F with racks in the middle and lowest positions and rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes and shallots with the oil, salt and pepper.
Working quickly, remove baking sheet from the oven, add the potato-shallot mixture and spread in an even layer; reserve the bowl. Roast on the bottom rack until the potatoes are well browned on the bottoms, about 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.
Use a thin metal spatula to transfer the potatoes to the reserved bowl, scraping up any browned bits. Add 4 tablespoons of the harissa and toss until evenly coated. Return the potatoes to the sheet, spreading in an even layer and reserving the bowl. Roast on the middle rack until tender, 18-22 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.
Return the potatoes to the reserved bowl, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add the parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of harissa and the lemon juice. Toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges.
CAULIFLOWER, Grape, and Cheddar Salad
Yotam Ottolenghi | Plenty More
2 lbs cauliflower broken into bite size florets
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
scant 1/4 cup raisins
scant 1/3 cup hazelnuts/almonds toasted and roughly chopped
2/3 cup red grapes halved
scant 3 oz good mature cheddar crumbled
2/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 425°F.
Toss the cauliflower florets with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Spread out on a baking hseet and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons oil with the vinegar, mustard, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the raisins and let them marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Just before serving, transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the hazelnuts, grapes, Cheddar, and parsely. Pour the raisins and dressing over the top, toss together, transfer to a large platter, and serve.