TYPECASTING APPLESAUCE? POPPYCOCK!
May 4, 2021
Many of our infamous apples on the grocery shelves these days made their way to North America by means of colonialist Europeans and were, in fact, spread in no small part by John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) and other nurserymen. Seeing as Turtle Rock is anchored upon a venerable apple orchard, we have an incredible variety to choose from. For our applesauce, we fancy Macoun—a cross between McIntosh and Jersey Black—and Gala for their intrinsic sweetness plus straight-up McIntosh for a little tartness. We supplement our bushels with a mix of heirlooms from surrounding orchards, rendering each batch unique. We simply cook ’em down into submission with a splash of Organic lemon juice, then use a food mill to remove the cores and peels. Voilà.
But what, pray tell, is applesauce? In vogue since Medieval times (and—sidenote—it’s also a synonym for malarkey/fiddlesticks/poppycock), is it a condiment? A dessert in and of itself? A literal sauce for meats and poultry? For us it’s all of the above, as well as a remarkable ingredient in cakes. Our favorite applesauce cake recipe is below for the taking.
Applesauce Carrot Cake with Colorful Lemon Glaze
Replacing dairy or other fats with applesauce when baking lends an incredible moistness, natural sweetness, and binding quality that we adore. You can take this a step farther and make the cake entirely vegan by using flaxseed “eggs,” beet sugar instead of honey, and nondairy milk. Use whole vanilla beans or check to see that your vanilla extract (and powdered sugar) is vegan friendly as well.
Yield: Two 8-inch cakes or 18 cupcakes
For the Cake:
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour (or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free baking flour)
1 cup (5 3/4 ounces) buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
2 duck eggs (or 3 chicken eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste (Nielsen-Massey paste is a chef’s fave)
2 cups (~1 jar) unsweetened applesauce
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans, cashews)
For the Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk, any kind (oat used here)
2 tablespoons purple cabbage extract*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*To make cabbage extract, boil a large handful of red cabbage with 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain liquid, and let cool completely before using.