FOOD! apple skillet cake

It’s Sunday, which means I’m being a lazy-bones.  It started last night, with a Fellini film I’ve had on loan from the Hennepin County Library for the better part of the past 4 months.  The extended borrowing period wasn’t intentional; rather, it was an item I “lost” while packing, and which has recently resurfaced.  [Side note: I just have to say, for the record, I don’t resonate with Fellini films.  This particular oeuvre, 8-1/2, is hailed as one of the greatest films of all time.  Interesting, perhaps, but life would have been just as well had I not seen it.]  I slept on the couch, which always feels like a slumber party to me.  I awoke at 6, then fell back asleep at 7 until approximately 8:30 (ok, 9).

This caught my eye whilst checking my social media sites, and, though I initially poo-poo’d the idea of making it, I changed my mind once I realized all the ingredients* were in my kitchen.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so improvise as needed!

Apple Skillet Cake:

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup soy milk, or your preferred type of milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup Domata Gluten Free Recipe Ready Flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil
  • 3 sweet apples cored, and sliced (sweet or tart, depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar (brown, if preferred)
  • thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Whisk warm water and flour together, ensuring few to no lumps.  Add eggs, milk, and salt, and set aside. In a cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and apples; stirring occasionally, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the top of apples, cooking until caramelized, 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in batter, distributing evenly throughout skillet.  Transfer to oven and bake until cake puffs and knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with 2 teaspoons sugar and return to oven until brown on top, 5 minutes. Or, place under high-heat broiler for 1-2 minutes (watching closely!) until brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serves 8 (Calories: 187 / Carbs: 29g / Fat: 7g / Protein: 3 g)

*Before you go telling me how awesome this is, and what a great cook I am, I have to give credit where it’s due.  This recipe was adapted from a little something I spied in my FB feed this morning, from Whole Living.  I adapted it to exclude dairy and wheat, but if these things are of no concern to you, just follow that recipe instead!

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American Woman, redux.

So many good things today.  But this was a  highlight:

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I had lunch with my friend, Russ, today at the lovely Indian restaurant Gandhi Mahal, in South Minneapolis, near Lake St. and Hiawatha.  We ordered the lunch buffet, which was loaded up with all gluten-free choices, plus a few dairy-free options. And dessert: 3 options, all gluten free.  And some kind of magical fried chickpea patties, also gluten free. He had read an earlier post re: this album, and just happened to have it in his collection, and gifted it to me (Thanks Russ! Cherishing this as we speak!). A funny bit in this: Russ and I worked at a coffee shop together back when blogs were just becoming a thing. And I lamented them endlessly! How boring to read about what some joker had for lunch, or went on vacation… Clearly, I didn’t understand the depth and breadth of what one is capable of communicating via this commendable medium.

FOOD! Claudia Roden’s Orange and Almond Cake

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Several years ago, I worked at a funny little place in Minneapolis, right on the shores of Lake Calhoun.  A “museum of electricity in life,” The Bakken was filled with unique characters of all manner of philosophy and background.  In fact, looking back on it now with the perspective of a novelist, this place was rife with quirky personalities ready-made for fictionalization.Anyhoo, one of my favorite people there was the archivist/ research librarian.  She was a total foodie, but had recently diagnosed with diabetes, and so was largely deprived of her favorite pastime, cooking.  She had a large collection of old cookbooks, and when she found out I was gluten-free, she dug up a ton of recipes for my perusal.  One of these was a recipe for a type of cake originally made by Sephardic Jews.  I suppose this was a first realization that there were wheat-averse traditions out there, and that there were ways of eating GF that aren’t simply about substituting regular flour for GF, but looking at it in a completely different way.

Today is the first time I’m trying this particular recipe, though I’ve made a similar cake multiple times.  The two things about this recipe which are a bit putzy are: 1. the springform cake pan (easy to find, but perhaps not something found in the average kitchen), and 2. pulverizing the almonds (I like to mix the almonds with the sugar in the food processor, that way the almond doesn’t get too sticky in the container).


  • Claudia Roden’s Orange and Almond Cake
  • TOTAL TIME: 3 hours (2 hours unattended)
  • COOK TIME: 1 hour
  • PREP TIME: 2 hour


Ingredients:

2 large oranges
6 eggs
1/2 pound ground almonds
1/2 pound sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:
1.  Wash the oranges and simmer them, unpeeled, in water to cover for 2 hours. Cool, cut them open and remove the seeds. Puree the oranges in a food processor.
2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3.  Beat the eggs in a food processor or large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the orange puree, and mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered and floured cake tin, with a removable base if possible.
4.  Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin before turning out.

YIELD:10 servings

NOTE: This is a very moist cake and goes especially well with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines.

FOOD! Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote.

A few years ago, I received the book “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” by Deborah Madison.  The generic name does no justice to the wealth of information its pages contain, and it has continued to be my go-to not only for interesting recipes, but also for general how-tos and advice on ingredient selection and food preparation.  It was within these pages that I first learned about compote.  The book contains a recipe for a most delicious summer berry and apricot compote that became my standard at summer gatherings.  Simple, easy, delicious… you can’t really go wrong with a compote.
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So, I was delighted to find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Compote gracing the back page of the St. Paul paper’s Eat section.  Having just visited with a friend from California this week, I wondered if rhubarb is a more regional flavor?  Regardless, it’s early summer, and rhubarb is abundant, so get you some and cook this up!

RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY COMPOTE (courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar

To prepare fruit: Trim rhubarb. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Rinse and hull strawberries. Depending on size, cut strawberries into halves or quarters. Reserve 1 cup strawberries. Set aside. Place remaining strawberries and rhubarb in medium saucepan. Zest lemon. Add zest to rhubarb mixture. Squeeze lemon. Add juice to rhubarb mixture. Add sugar.

To cook fruit: Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves. Cover pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove cover. Reduce temperature. Simmer for 4 minutes.

To chill: Remove from heat. Stir in reserved strawberries. Cool to room temperature. Cover. Refrigerate.

To serve: Divide into small bowls and add a swirl of half & half, a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, or serve over a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.  Garnish with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint, or a curlicue of citrus peel.

FOOD! Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote.

A few years ago, I received the book “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” by Deborah Madison.  The generic name does no justice to the wealth of information its pages contain, and it has continued to be my go-to not only for interesting recipes, but also for general how-tos and advice on ingredient selection and food preparation.  It was within these pages that I first learned about compote.  The book contains a recipe for a most delicious summer berry and apricot compote that became my standard at summer gatherings.  Simple, easy, delicious… you can’t really go wrong with a compote.
Picture

So, I was delighted to find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Compote gracing the back page of the St. Paul paper’s Eat section.  Having just visited with a friend from California this week, I wondered if rhubarb is a more regional flavor?  Regardless, it’s early summer, and rhubarb is abundant, so get you some and cook this up!

RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY COMPOTE (courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar

To prepare fruit: Trim rhubarb. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Rinse and hull strawberries. Depending on size, cut strawberries into halves or quarters. Reserve 1 cup strawberries. Set aside. Place remaining strawberries and rhubarb in medium saucepan. Zest lemon. Add zest to rhubarb mixture. Squeeze lemon. Add juice to rhubarb mixture. Add sugar.

To cook fruit: Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves. Cover pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove cover. Reduce temperature. Simmer for 4 minutes.

To chill: Remove from heat. Stir in reserved strawberries. Cool to room temperature. Cover. Refrigerate.

To serve: Divide into small bowls and add a swirl of half & half, a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, or serve over a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.  Garnish with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint, or a curlicue of citrus peel.