Apple Cake with Lemon Thyme

Somehow, today is different…..  Is it the day or is it me?  For days I have waited for something to change and it now feels like it has….and it makes me smile.  Today.. I no longer pine for the tastes of summer fruit.  Today..I want an apple.  I want a fresh picked apple…..  I want Apple Cake.

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Not just any apple cake.  You know the kind with brown sugar and cinnamon…not that kind.  I want apples with lemon thyme.  This apple dish is lighter in flavor and still carries a bit of that summer feel to it.  It is the perfect go between for the changing of the seasons.

There is an apple orchard, just west of the small town I live in.  His sign is out….”APPLES”  Maybe that is why I am smiling.  The air is cool this morning and the sky is clear.  I drive out to the orchard to get my first of the season fix.

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David is his friendly self and points me in the direction I want to go.  He too, is happy for the change in seasons to arrive.

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I tell him what the apples will be used for and he admits that he’d never had lemon thyme and apples together.  I recommended he change that and soon.  Maybe he can talk his wife into giving this a go.  My family is already hooked on it.

The thyme gives this dish a “brightness”….I don’t know how else to describe it.  Similar to what lemon itself does…but in a slightly different way.  Anyhow, enough of my blather.  You need a recipe.

You’ll need:

2 1/2 cups unpeeled, tart apples (Granny Smith is a favorite for me), cut into small 1/2 inch pieces

2 1/2 Tbs lemon thyme leaves, minced

1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

1/2 chopped nuts (optional)

2 eggs

1/4 cup local honey

1/4 cup fruit sweetened apple butter

6 tbs olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Toss the chopped apples with the lemon juice, raw sugar, and thyme leaves.  Set aside.

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In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, raisins and nuts.  In your mixer’s bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy.  Add the honey, apple butter, oil and vanilla.  On low speed, add the apples, then the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan.  Spread into the corners.  Batter will be thick.

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Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until golden and toothpick placed in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.  This cake is delicious, but it is even better the next day….if it lasts that long.   This is a rustic cake and therefore, not the most photogenic dish I have ever made, but it is a “must have” every year at the end of summer…  Enjoy!

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