mom’s apple cake

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Mom’s Apple Cake

Refreshed: September 2015 with fresh photos, a couple additional notes and a slightly streamlined process. Hooray!

For the apples
6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples, I use a mix of whatever looks good
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the cake
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 cup vegetable oil (safflower, sunflower, olive and coconut oil also work, as does melted butter)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional and to be honest, we never use them)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. (I use this one.) Peel, core and chop apples into 1-inch chunks.Toss with cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix wet ingredients into dry ones; scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples (and their juices) over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.*
Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.

Do ahead: This cake is awesome on the first day but absolutely glorious and pudding-like on the days that follow, so feel free to get an early start on it. I keep it at room temperature covered with foil.

* Tip: The apples love to hide uncooked pockets of batter, especially near the top. Make sure your testing skewer or toothpick goes not just all the way down to the bottom, but does a shallow dip below the top layer of apples to make sure it comes out batter-free. Should your cake be browning too fast, before the center is baked through, cover it with foil for all but the last few minutes in the oven.

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