Twisted Tuesday: Baked Apple – Apple Pie

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” — Jane Austen

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Jane Austen couldn’t have been more right, and I think if she were alive today, I’d invite her over for this twist on an all time favorite dessert. We could discuss whether it was sense or sensibility that made me decide to make a baked apple apple pie..

I say it was my good sense to utilize my undeniable sensibility.

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I love apples. So it’s no surprise that I love apple pie…and it’s no surprise that I love baked apples. I think that apple pie has a little bit of an edge over the baked apple, because I love the crust so much. But then again, I love the walnuts and raisins in the baked apple. Because I’m so carried away with my love for both apple pie and baked apple, It only made “sense” to me to combine the two… to enjoy the best of both worlds! Sense and Sensibility!

And the best of both worlds these little desserts turned out to be!

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I was happy to find that they not only maintained their shape while they baked, but were soft enough to cut with a fork. Served warm, the syrupy brown sugar mixture just poured from the middle of the apple to mingle with the vanilla ice cream.. Delicious.

These pretty little apples are the perfect dessert to delight your family and friends!

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Baked Apple-Apple Pie
Serves 4

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8”x8” baking dish with vegetable spray.

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The Apples:
4 Apples (your choice in variety)
Juice of one lemon
Carefully core the apples to about 1/4 inch of the bottom of the apple. Peel the apple and discard the skin. Coat the apple with the lemon juice to prevent it from browning.

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Walnut Raisin Filling:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter

Combine the brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl. Generously fill the center of each apple with the filling.

Aunt Linda’s Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar

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In a small bowl, mix the milk and vinegar together.  Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, shortening, and salt together until mixture is in pea size crumbles. Pour the milk and vinegar mixture into the flour mixture and stir.   The dough will be sticky.

Divide the dough in four balls. Use plenty of flour, and roll the first ball into a 1/8” thick circle. Place an apple in the center, and begin to fold the dough up around the apple, slicing the dough to fit the apple until the whole apple is covered in dough. Roll the scraps and cut two leaves from the dough with a knife. Form a small stem with the dough. Attach by pressing the leaves and the stem to the top of the dough covered apple. Place in the prepared baking dish.

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Bake for an hour or until the apple is tender (test with a knife from the back of the apple), and the crust is golden brown.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and caramel sauce.

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Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, and salt over low heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cook for about three minutes until thick and bubbly.

Serve warm over apple pie and ice cream.

Enjoy!

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Spanish Bar Cake

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I’ve never been a fan of spice cake. Now, I say that I’m not a fan, but that does NOT mean that if you put a piece in front of me, I wouldn’t eat it. Quite the contrary, I would eat it, and I would most likely enjoy it. I know. It’s crazy. But it’s cake, and I love cake! Just not spice cake.

Having said all that nonsense, there are times that I’ll get a craving for Spanish Bar Cake. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…. Spanish Bar Cake is basically a spice cake with raisins. But it’s so dense and moist at the same time, and with all of those plump little raisins in every bite, how can I resist?

I’m fickle.
I’m spice cake fickle.

Add cream cheese frosting to the insanity, and I’m over the edge. Throw some walnuts on top, there’s no going back, and you’ll find me heading for that second piece.

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Now ask me about spice cake.
And I’ll tell you I’m in love.

Fickle.

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Spanish Bar Cake

Just a quick note: I had to call my mom for this recipe, as she is the keeper of all things good. While she was reading her ingredient list to me, she said that it calls for two cups of granulated sugar. But then she said that there was a hand written note that said you could use one cup of granulated sugar, and one cup of brown sugar.

After thinking about it for about one-fifth of a second, she said: “I think that’s what you should do. The molasses in the brown sugar will bring such a great flavor to this cake”.

Mom was right. I love her.

Things to do first:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9” x 13” pan

The Ingredients:
3 cups water
2 cups dark raisins
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar (~or~ one cup granulated sugar plus one cup brown sugar)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 cups flour

In a large saucepan, bring the water to boil over high heat. Add the raisins, vegetable shortening, cinnamon, cloves, and coffee to the boiling water. Remove from heat, and let cool.

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In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar(s), and salt until well blended. Add the cooled raisin mixture and beat until well blended, about three minutes.

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Pour into prepared 9” x 13” pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.

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NOTE: Baking time will most likely vary. While this recipe called for 1-hour baking time, it only took 45 minutes in my oven. Keep an eye on the cake while it’s baking.

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Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
½ cup softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Spread over cake, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.

Enjoy!

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