Every so often, our family gives up dairy and eggs for a time, cuts back a bit on sweets and we practice a bit of self-discipline. Even though things like cheese, milk and eggs are cut out of our diet temporarily, a good vegan meal doesn't only have to be bland, boiled or steamed vegetables. On the menu tonight were: baked potatoes with homemade mango salsa, asparagus marinated in a chocolate-balsamic vinegar and walnut oil, and veggie meat substitutes (BBQ ribs for the adults and chicken fingers for the kids.) For dessert, I whipped up this delicious little cake. The recipe has its origins in The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, (a phenomenal little vegan cookbook!) but as usual, I changed it just a little.
Jeff told his mom, "it's just begging for a cup of coffee or tea!"
4 - 5 c. granny smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (4 - 5 medium apples)
1 c. raw or light brown sugar or 1 1/4 c. refined (white) sugar
1/2 tsp. dried orange or lemon zest
1/2 c. canola or other mildly-flavored oil (I used sunflower oil)
1/2 c. red currant jelly, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 c. unbleached flour (I use "Better for Bread" flour for all of my baking; it gives me a better rise)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg* (I'm not a big nutmeg fan so I left it out)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sliced almonds
Confectioners sugar *
* Optional items
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Oil or grease a 13 x 9 inch cake pan, especially around the edges. In a large bowl, coat the apple slices with the jelly, sugar and zest; let stand for 15 minutes.
- Mix the oil, jelly, vanilla, and almond extract together and pour the liquid over the apple mixture; stir well to make sure the apples are well coated.
- In another large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually stir in the apple mixture. Add the almonds, stirring well to combine. Put the mix into the pan, and use a spatula to even the mix out. the batter will be pretty thick. Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle a thin frosting (it is easy to make by mixing powdered sugar and water) over the top if desired.
This cake stays moist for a couple of days so you can prepare it ahead of time for later use.
And a note from the book:
The long rectangular shape of the baking pan is important to prevent this moist yet crumbly cake, leavened only with baking soda, from sinking in the center.
Frugal Days Sustainable Ways