I love this time of year. It’s crisp and beautiful, and there are lots of great Ohio apples to use for cooking.
I have only found one apple tree at the Governor’s Residence. It is in the medicine garden at the back of the property, and it is a direct descendent of a Johnny Appleseed planted tree. However, this year there were only three apples on the tree that I could see, and unfortunately, the birds got them before I did! At our home we had a pretty good crop — especially on the newer trees that we had planted. So I’m ready to make some good things apple!
I love to make apple pie (or should I say Mike begs me to make it!) but I also make lots of other things apple like apple crisp. Last week for the baby shower I had for all the moms-to-be spouses of our Ohio military families, I made an apple cake for dessert. The recipe was from June McCarthy’s (former executive chef at the Governor’s Residence) wonderful cookbook “The Governor’s Residence Cookbook.” She says it has been a favorite of three governors. Mike loved it, so we can now say it’s a favorite of four governors! I melted some caramels and added a little evaporated milk to make a warm sauce to go with the cake. It is a real comfort food, and stays moist for days.
I also attended Iola Creamer’s 100th birthday party last weekend. Iola has been one of my long time “apple peelers” for my pie-making for our Ice Cream Social pies. Iola always bring her own paring knife because she is left-handed and she says my knives are sharpened on the wrong side! For her birthday party, Iola’s daughters made many of her favorite recipes, and our favorite was her apple dumplings! They were so delicious that I plan to make some myself. Here is the recipe. Iola adapted it from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. Sometimes I use sliced apples instead of the whole cored apples. And sometimes I use regular pie dough instead of the biscuit dough. Either way it is good! Serve with cream, or better yet, Young’s Jersey Dairy vanilla ice cream!
Combine in saucepan:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add:
3 Tbsp. butter Set aside.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter flavored Crisco
½ cup milk
6 medium whole apples, pared and cored.
Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk all at once and stir just until flour is moistened.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough about ¼ inch thick into 18 inch by 12 inch rectangle. Cut into 6 6-inch squares. Place cored apple on each square of dough. Sprinkle each apple with cinnamon sugar and dot with butter. Moisten edges of squares. Fold in corners and pinch edges together. Place 1 inch apart in 8” x 12” baking pan. Pour the syrup over the dumplings. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, or until apples are done. Makes 6 servings.
Governor’s Apple Cake
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped ½”, or 1 ½ cup apples and ½ cup pears
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cake pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In another bowl, mix the sugar, melted butter, egg, apples, and walnuts. Add the dry ingredients to the apple mixture; stir to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
Place in preheated oven and bake about 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with caramel sauce.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.