I am, admittedly, not the most serious Jew you’ll ever meet. I love celebrating the holidays, the culture and the food, but I am certainly not deeply religious. Every year on Yom Kippur, I fast, but not necessarily to atone for my sins. To be honest, I do it more to see if I can go a whole day without eating. Have you ever gone a day without eating, on purpose? It’s funny how your mind starts to play tricks on you, and you notice how food is everywhere! You kind of get past being hungry, but if you’re like me and love food, you start counting down to the bagels and lox pretty early in the day.
It’s almost 3 pm now and it’s going ok. However, I’ve got an apple coffee cake just coming out of the oven that’s about to start testing my willpower, hardcore.
My aunt asked me to bring something baked to break the fast (breakfast – break the fast, get it?), and I happily agreed. Since we’re getting into the heart of apple season, I decided an apple coffee cake would be the perfect way to welcome a sweet new year. A few years ago, I made one that was a big hit, so I pulled the recipe back up. Now, I’m not a big fan of Emeril, but I am a big fan of brown sugar and crumbly topping and apples so I decided to go with the tried and true. I skipped the brown sugar glaze he calls for, since the cake is plenty sweet on it’s own and I remember it getting lost last time. The recipe is incredibly easy – perfect for when you’re fasting and don’t have the energy for a complicated recipe, or want to throw together a quick but impressive brunch treat.
I, of course, used mostly organic and local ingredients. I love apple season! I got a variety – Gravensteins, and a few nameless ones with a surprising, gorgeous pink flesh (sorry, that’s a disgusting word. I certainly won’t talk about how moist this cake is. Oh, wait).
Apple Coffee Cake, from this recipe
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with butter (this is a great time to use those leftover butter wrappers!)
Cream together your stick of butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating them in. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the butter-brown sugar mixture, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the buttered dish, spreading the batter to reach the edges of the dish.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Make your crumble topping by pulsing your brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter in a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake and bake until the cake is set and the topping is golden brown, around 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and break the fast!