apples for days

Today was the perfect fall day. Not in the conventional blue sky, crisp air, colored leaves sort of way—it has actually been raining since the early morning. Rather, the day’s dreary weather coupled with my fortuitous class cancellation made for an afternoon filled with lazing in sweatpants, sweeping cups of flour, and permeating my suite with a cinnamony aroma.

This past weekend, Mom and Aunt Susan visited. The weather was gorgeous and the time of the season was just right for us to take a trip to Eckert’s Farm to go apple picking. As native Floridians with picking experiences limited to mangoes and strawberries, we were giddy with the chance to hop on a tractor and stroll through the orchards, tossing apple after apple into our bags and even eating a few sweet, juicy ones straight off the tree. We ended up with nearly 15 pounds of Golden Delicious and Jonathan varieties, and since Mom and Aunt Susan could only take so much on the plane back, my suitemates and I were left with a mountainous bag of apples that will last us for quite a while!

When I set out to bake this gloomy afternoon, I knew apples would be the star ingredient. I had recently seen a scrumptious looking apple cake on smittenkitchen and decided to give it a try. The recipe called for a tube pan, but given the confines of my humble toaster oven, I halved the recipe and baked it in a 9×9 pan. The sweet yellow cake rose up beautifully around the cinnamon-coated apple chunks. It was delicious when I had a test taste warm from the oven, and equally as good when I went back for seconds once it had cooled. As my suitemates file in from the rain, I hope the smells of my lazy day of baking and the tastes of fall help to brighten this gray day!

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