Apple Spice Cake for Friends

THIS RECIPE for Apple Spice Cake was sent to us by Agnes Mark, co-owner of Wellwood Orchards in Springfield, Vermont, who says that any New England apple like Baldwin or Northern Spy works well in it.

“This is a great recipe to pull out when you know company’s coming,” she writes.

Even better, she adds, wait until they arrive, and let them cut and core the apples “while they unpeel from the stress of daily living to relax where time stands still: in the kitchen, among kindred hearts!”

It makes a great brunch treat, too.

3 c flour (blend white and whole wheat)

1 T cinnamon

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

Lori Thoin’s secret ingredient: ½ t nutmeg (oh yes!)

1⅓ c applesauce or vegetable oil

2 c sugar

3 eggs

3-4 (3 c) New England apples, cored and cut into ½” pieces

1 c chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts

1 t vanilla

caramel sauce

Preheat oven 350 °F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Working over a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and secret ingredient and set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine applesauce or vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until lemon yellow.

Fold reserved parchment in half lengthwise; with mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Stir in apples, nuts, and vanilla.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 75-90 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely.

Serve drizzled with caramel sauce.