Saturday, October 18, 2008

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  • A Taste of Fall

    Life is partly what we make it,
    and partly what is made by the friends we choose.

    -Tennessee Williams

    I guess you know you had a fun night when you wake up to a sink full of empty wine glasses. I had some friends over for dinner last night for some yummy new recipes, good conversation, and even a little knitting. One friend just pulled back into port after a joint exercise in Canada (turns out they have a bar and a velvet Elvis portrait in the officers' mess on Canadian ships!), and the other friend is my deployment buddy. My husband and her fiance are hanging out in the same coffee shop in Iraq, so we're getting a lot of pedicures and watching Veronica Mars. Living up the girl fun while the guys are away.

    Since my knitting was limited to simple stockinette socks last night (Did I mention we enjoyed a lot of wine?), I'll share with you my new favorite autumn dessert. This was amazing - like pumpkin pie and apple crisp all at once.

    Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Cake
    from Bon Appetit, October 2001 (wow - that's been in the "to-try" file for a long time!)

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    11/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
    1/3 cup sour cream
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 large eggs

    Vanilla ice cream

    For apples:
    Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

    For cake:
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture for topping. Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, spice, and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Beat in eggs. Transfer batter to pan. Scatter apples evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved topping over apples.

    Bake cake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to platter. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.


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    Blogger bySarah said...

    Yum!!! I think I will offer to make this as a thanksgiving dessert.

    10/18/2008 2:26 PM  
    Blogger Jennifer said...

    Ahh. It sounds like you had so much fun. I am so jealous!! Well not too much longer until I join civilization again, I am almost home.

    10/18/2008 4:18 PM  
    Blogger Angelika said...

    Sounds like you found a buddy to hang out with during the deployment. It's important to have those. I guess a bottle of wine doesn't sound so bad and looking at the cake makes me pull out my german cookbook.

    10/18/2008 4:46 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yay for V Mars! Perfect angsty-teen forbidden love indulgence for missing the husband. Is this your second watch-through, or are you just now watching the third season?

    10/18/2008 9:18 PM  
    Blogger Beth said...

    Ooh, that sounds so yummy! And I just baked a pumpkin, too....

    10/19/2008 5:50 PM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I love apple desserts. :) I'm glad you have good friends to hang out with while the hubby is away.

    10/19/2008 9:09 PM  
    Blogger Jennifer said...

    Sounds like a wonderful evening. I'm glad you guys are taking care of each other while your boys are deployed.

    10/20/2008 6:16 AM  
    Blogger nova said...

    Clearly, I need to make this cake.

    10/20/2008 10:53 AM  
    Blogger Kate Diamond said...

    This sounds quite tasty!

    I think I'll have to put the recipe in my "to make" pile (which doesn't mean I'll try it any time soon... there's been a lot of mac 'n cheese lately...)

    10/20/2008 10:55 PM  

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