By VICKI AMSINGER
Author of A Table at RobertRidge
Fresh Apple Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
Chilly days in autumn call for comfort food and this recipe takes the cake.
Ingredients for cake:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour [I used Glutino® all purpose flour, but regular all purpose flour will work fine]
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups chopped apples [from about 3-4 peeled and cored apples – any kind is fine. I used Jonathan]
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Directions: Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Using a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, mix the oil, buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, sugar and vanilla together until completely blended [about 3 minutes].
Add in the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda; combine thoroughly. Stir the chopped apples in by hand.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden and the cake doesn’t wiggle in the middle. A toothpick should come out clean in the center.
Prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, buttermilk and vanilla together.
Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over the top with a skewer. Pour half the glaze over the top, letting it seep down into the cake. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes and then pour the remaining glaze over the top.
Let the glazed cake sit for 20 minutes to firm up and then cut into squares to serve.
Sausage-Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash
If biscuits and gravy, Thanksgiving stuffing and fondue had a love child, this would be it. This is serious comfort food.
3 acorn squash, cut in half through the stem and seeded
4 cups crusty bread [like French or Italian], torn into half inch pieces
8 ounces pork sausage [mild or spicy]
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 cups milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese [I used sharp cheddar, but Gruyere, jack or harvati also would be great]
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Fresh sage and thyme to garnish
Directions: Place the squash, cut side down, on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Place them cut side up in a large baking dish and set aside.
Place the torn bread on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Put the toasted bread into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook the sausage until no longer pink. Add in the onion and celery and cook for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and vegetables and stir. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. Add in the cheese and stir until combined. Season with salt, pepper, sage and thyme.
Pour the sausage/cheese mixture over the bread and stir to combine. Stuff the squash halves full.
Place a bit of water in the bottom of the baking dish, carefully add squash, stuffed side up.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the top of the stuffing starts to turn golden.