Home. It took awhile, but finally the place where I live feels more like home than any other “home” I’ve had.
My parents, brother, and I moved into their current house when I was about 14. We were old enough that there are no childhood memories of playing make-believe with my brother or hearing Santa on Christmas Eve in that house. Still, until recently, I felt most “at home” snuggled up in a quilt on my parents’ living room floor, with N and my brother and mom and dad in front of the TV.
It took awhile for N and I to make our first house feel less like a storage unit. But slowly, the little things– knickknacks that find their windowsills; smells that become familiar and welcoming; my cats sleeping on my lap; and most importantly, my husband beside me– make me feel like I’m at home.
This apple cake did the same thing.
Quick Apple Cake
from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax
Serves 8 (or fewer!)
The reason the piece in the picture looks so wonky is because we suddenly were eating the last two pieces and I realized I hadn’t yet taken a picture!
The recipe calls for thin slices of apple, but I cut my slices slightly thicker with a shorter rectangle shape, and we loved the definite commitment to apple vs. cake.
3 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized (about 3 cups)
1 t. lemon juice
3/4 c. plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. good vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sifted all-purpose flour (sift in salt)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a pie or cake pan. Toss the apples in the pan with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the cinnamon. Spread apples evenly in the bottom of the pan
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully and stir to avoid burning. Pour the clear, browned butter into a medium bowl, leaving any sediment or foam in the pan.
Stir the 3/4 cup sugar into the butter with a spatula or spoon (not a whisk). Gently stir in the eggs and vanilla; stir in the salt and flour until blended. Spoon the batter evenly over the apples and spread into a layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until lightly golden and crusty, 35 to 45 minutes.
The recipe suggests serving with vanilla ice cream, but eating a warm slice with fresh softly-whipped cream made me go all melty on the inside.