Friday, September 12, 2014

Recipe Weekend: An Apple a Day Keeps the Winter Blues Away (French Apple-Almond Butter Cake)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this info,, free of charge, from Nielsen-Massey, for blog posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about the topic.

apple on books

From the time we are young, we are exposed to idioms such as "American as apple pie", "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and we are encouraged to give an apple to our teacher if we want to be the favorite student. Far from simply being a part of the American culinary tradition, apples are so engrained in American culture that they have even made their way into our language and customs. They even represent the annual Back to School time rush! 

Apple picking season began last month in August, just as some of us were heading back to school, so it makes sense! Many families include apple picking as part of their yearly traditions and fresh apples to their snacking and dessert menus for Fall. While prime apple picking season may only last a few months, typically from late August to early November, apples enjoyment can continue long into the winter by properly storing freshly-picked apples.

apples on tree

"Aside from the numerous health benefits of apples, which make them perfect for everything from healthy snacks to lighter desserts, apples are easy to store and preserve," said Beth Nielsen, Chief Culinary Officer of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. "Winters can be long and harsh in many parts of the United States, and having fresh, delicious apples stored away can make those cold winter months that much more appealing. When you are ready to bake with your apples, add a teaspoon or two of Nielsen-Massey Vanilla to your recipe to round out the flavor and tone down the tartness of the fruit." Pairing your fresh apples with the smooth, rich flavors of vanilla is a timeless way to highlight America’s favorite fruit in a variety of baked goods. 

Our friends at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas have sent over a lovely recipe for French Apple-Almond Butter Cake with Vanilla Caramel Sauce that brings their wonderful vanilla to your picked apples, in a wonderful cake! And some great apple storing tips- enjoy!


French Apple-Almond Butter Cake

(Serves 8)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ -sticks) unsalted butter
3 medium Fuji apples (about 3 cups, divided)
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar (for applepieces)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon apple liqueur
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch light color, non-stick cake pan with cooking spray; line the bottom of the cake pan with a piece of parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl, add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, whisk to combine; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter; set aside to cool. Peel, core and cut apples into ¼-inch pieces, place in a medium bowl and mix with brown sugar; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape bowl sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract, apple liqueur and almond extract; beat to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients beat on low, just until incorporated.

With a rubber spatula, fold in 2 cups of prepared apple pieces into batter; pour batter into baking pan and evenly spread. Place remaining cup of apple pieces over top of cake batter. Bake until done, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and run a knife around sides of cake. Let stand for 10 minutes and turn onto a wire rack; remove parchment and turn onto second wire rack to cool.
Serve with warm Vanilla Caramel Sauce.

Vanilla Carmel Sauce
(Yield ½ Cup)

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon apple liqueur


In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter, sugar, brown sugar and cream; cook and whisk. Bring sauce to boil. Remove from heat add vanilla extract and apple liqueur; stir until combined. Serve 1 tablespoon warm sauce over each slice of cake.

Tips for Storing Apples

After returning from the apple orchard, farm stand or store, follow these recommendations to store your bounty. If properly stored, some apple varieties can last up to five months, providing you with nutritious fresh fruit well into spring.
  • Choose tart, thicker-skinned apples, such as Jonathan, Fuji, or Granny Smiths, for storage.
  • Remove any apples with bruises or soft spots. It is true that "one bad apple will spoil the bunch," so set these apples aside for eating or baking with first.
  • Place apples in a perforated plastic bag, crate, or cardboard box to allow for air circulation and store between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing below 30 degrees will causeapples to freeze, while storing above 35 degrees will cause them to ripen too quickly.
  • Check your supply regularly for soft or spoiled fruit and remove these apples right away.
Looking for more ways to use your stored apples this winter? Visit the Nielsen-Massey website for these recipes:

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are All-Natural, Allergen-Free, and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. 

1 comment:

  1. This cake looks and sounds delicious, especially with the caramel sauce.


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