Fall is definitely apple season…and pumpkin season too. Both of which I happen to LOVE, but for this one I stuck with apples and decided to satisfy my sweet tooth with something confectionary. Maybe it was the cute little bag of organic New York state apples that winked and said hello to me as I walked into my local grocer, or maybe it was the guilt of yet another year passing by and me not living up to my apple picking glory. Who knows? But when I saw those ripe, juicy, delicious apples in a bushel, I just had to have them.
There are only two things I think of when I see apples: pie & juice. I know, that’s probably typical, especially since I am American. Although, I rather enjoy apples in a variety of ways. Including eating them au natural, just the way nature intended, this time I was having a craving. You know, that little diabolical whisper that starts in the back of your mind and the pit of your stomach simultaneously (I swear this is the only time they work together to plot against me, by the way), before it echoes through your body and tricks you into thinking you need to have that one thing, and only that or else you’ll DIE! Oh, your cravings aren’t like that??? Ok, maybe that’s a wee bit over-dramatized on my part, my bad. But Damn it: I wanted something sweet! Something applely(?). I wanted something I could sink my teeth into. Something that would ignite my nostalgia, and be like a warm hug on a cold fall day, yet exciting to my tastebuds and satisfying to my stomach at the same time. I wasn’t in the mood for a fresh cold pressed juice either. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. This friends, was not the time for juice. I needed something more.
It certainly wasn’t a pie moment either. As I’ve confessed in previous posts, I am nowhere near the consummate baker, so I had to get creative. I had little to no gluten free all purpose flour left, but what I did have was a ton of apples, walnuts, some cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder. Crack an egg, throw in some vanilla, maple syrup a bit of brown sugar and bake in your favorite cast iron skillet, and you’ve got yourselves a dessert, Ladies & Gentlemen! A bona fide Pan-Cake.
Oooh and it was soooo good! All without being overly sweet either. It was just enough to satisfy the sugar monster that lives within, while being everything I hoped it would be: warm, chewy, full of sweet, tangy, chewy appley goodness, with crunchy walnuts and spiced just right. I washed my two slices down with a warm cup of herbal tea as I read my local food magazine, which had apples on the cover (funny enough). I was satiated and felt as if I had died and gone to Johnny Appleseed heaven. Definitely a seasonal, zen yum moment to remember.
Spiced Apple Walnut Pan-Cake
- 1 1/2 cups apples (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 pat butter or 1 tsp coconut oil
- Powdered sugar (as garnish afterward, to taste)
Preheat oven to 350… Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Ina smaller bowl, crack and whip egg with maple syrup. Add Egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Add water and stir. Batter will be very thick.
Grease a 9″-10″ cast iron skillet, or 8″ square brownie pan with butter or coconut oil. and dust lightly with bit of flour. Discard excess flour , if any. Pour batter into pan and use rubber spatula to even out if necessary.
Pop into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour. Or until cake is nice golden brown and cooke all the way through.* When cake is done baking, remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Sprinkle each slice with powdered sugar and serve. (Add whopped cream or iced cream for extra fun!)
*Use a toothpick or fork to check the middle of the cake: stick toothpick or fork into the center and pull it back out, if it comes out clean with no batter, cake is finished baking.