Winter Respite and More Baking

Goodness, we had the most extraordinarily lovely weekend. It was probably 60 degrees. I did not wear my winter coat on any of the myriad errands I ran. The air smelled that way it smells when it warms up after the cold and you get a whiff of thawed earth and something sweet, perhaps sunlight. Ahhhh…. I am not ready to think about spring; being season-wise, I know there is a lot of winter left. But oh, my, what a lovely respite. I feel like I can almost bear to look at the seed catalogues!


This is the best of the selections I’ve received so far. Still, I’ve avoided looking at them…

What I am doing, primarily, is baking. I bake every weekend, usually muffins, sometimes breakfast breads or coffee cake. Last week, I was looking for a recipe in my cookbook and came upon Apple Pie Cake. This is an old recipe I got from my Aunt Gene.


It starts with apples.

My mother and her sisters all had their wedding dinners at the Park View Hotel in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Sadly, it appears not to exist anymore. Apparently this was served as dessert at the dinners and my grandmother asked for the recipe.


I think the next time, I would chop those slices so they’re chunks…

I always tell the age of a recipe by the proportion of sugar to flour. In this recipe, it’s one to one. There’s also an odd direction to put the soda in warm water, which I won’t do again. It works out better if I mix the soda in with the flour and other ingredients.


This calls for salt, which I wouldn’t add next time, given soda is the leavening. I’d also mix the soda in with the dry ingredients.

I’m not sure why it’s called apple pie cake, as it bakes up something like a cobbler would, though rather than pouring the batter over the fruit, it’s all mixed. The batter is also a bit stiffer than a cobbler batter would be.


I always have nuts on hand for pilafs, salads and baking.

It calls for 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup shortening, 1 tsp soda in 2 tablespoons hot water, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp of salt (I might leave this out next time), 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup raw nut meats (I used walnuts), and two cups of sliced apples (I think I would chop them next time).  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until browned.


Here it is ready to go in the oven…

I mixed all the dry ingredients and all the wet ingredients, then folded them all in together. It baked up into a pretty dessert, and I think I will make it again with the edits I noted. I hope you all have a good week that includes your just desserts and that they’re as sweet as you want.


And here it is fresh out.


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43 Responses to Winter Respite and More Baking

  1. It does look like a cobbler – and I applaud your edits too. I’ve been tempted to purchase Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook despite the cost and despite the fact that I rarely cook anything more than puppy stew these days….. Five ingredients and tasty meals might be just what I need to enliven my kitchen experiences this coming winter 🙂 Have you seen it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like a wonderful winter dessert! I shall keep for the cold southern season! At present, it’s rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie Graves says:

    Such a sweet post! It brought tears to my eyes to read about your aunt. That apple dessert looks scrummy, and I just might give it a shot sometime this week. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Tang says:

    Looks delicious. No rest, here and too hot to bake!


  5. Eliza Waters says:

    It looks delicious, Lisa. The recipe reminds me of my mom’s from the 40-50s. Her blonde brownies were almost the same ingredients except there were raisins and choc. chips instead of apples. It’s a challenge amending these recipes to reduce sugar and white flour, but it can be done. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Eliza! I was surprised that this didn’t taste as sweet as I expected and I think it was from the nuts and apples. So if I adjusted sugar, I might start with changing type–i.e., honey or agave–rather than say reducing by about 1/3, which is where I usually start. Changing out for whole wheat pastry flour would be easy, I think, but there are flavor issues with the added salt and the soda that Need to deal with before I make it healthier! I have a recipe for butterscotch bars that are a heart attack in the making, but I think some of those old recipes we should just make as is–once in a while as a celebration! Hope you’re thawing out and cozy!


  6. Maria says:

    Looks very good, hope to try it one day, thanks for the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sylvie G says:

    mmmm… it looks so good, very tempting, I think I can smell it again, but here it is still about ice cream and sorbet, still a way to go before thinking about comfort food. I pick almost all my recipes online these days, partly because my recipe books do not have a long lifespan, due to all the residues falling on the pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like your description of the smell of the air; and the look of this dish. Jackie has been planting seeds in the greenhouse.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. KerryCan says:

    I have some apples that I should eat just the way they are . . . but they would taste so much better in your cobbler! We had some lovely warm weather, too–only in the low 40s but everything is relative!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I so admire your baking skills. My mom was an excellent cook and a wonderful baker, too, but somehow that apple stayed on the tree. Your baking looks yummy, and the perfect treat for a cold day. I’m glad you had a warm, unseasonable weekend. We’re finally getting a bit of rain today. It’s much needed, as we’re now only at 60% of “normal” which I think no longer applies.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Robin says:

    Your apple pie cake looks yummy. Those old recipes can be fun to work with. I’m going to be making Grandma Kraus’s (my husband’s grandmother) walnut cake soon and the amount of butter, eggs, and sugar in that cake are ridiculous, but I wouldn’t make it any other way. It’s dense, not at all fluffy like most cakes are.

    Looks like we’re on the winter roller coaster ride again. Warm this weekend, then snow in the forecast on Monday or Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Yes, I do like the old recipes. I have another one, for French Cookies, that I may try to make soon. The other thing about the old recipes is that there’s usually quite a quantity. As for the weather, I’d be okay with a little snow, but I’m enjoying the warmth. Just wish Dumbarton Oaks wasn’t closed until March! It’s torture!


  12. Gosh, Lisa. that looks delicious. Send some up here, okay?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lavinia Ross says:

    I see you have a catalog from Territorial Seeds, from my neck of the woods. Another good company is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange based in Mineral, VA.

    Your apple dessert looks tasty. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I like Territorial Seed. But I think this year, I’m going to buy more southern varieties. I think I have Southern Exposure and have ordered from them before. Another good catalogue is Johnny’s Seeds in Maine, but again, with their northern focus, I need to choose carefully. It’s time to plan that garden, for sure!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Boomdeeadda says:

    Thinking about spring gardens?! How swell. We’re looking at more snow and temps around -20 C for the next 4 days . Tis’ winter on the northern prairies till at least mid April. I do love cobblers and actually still use a recipe from my middle school Home-Ec Class. It’s on a greasy card in that ancient recipe box, ha! I’m guessing baking in your new kitchen is dreamy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Cooking in the new kitchen is fabulous, just because there’s room. As for the shape recipe cards get into, I have quite a few splattered and spotted ones too. It’s in the 30’s F here today and I think we will see very little snow this year. Ah well, you’ll be escaping into summer soon and Pauline said it will be quite warm at the lake…I still have only looked at one seed catalog. Still in the not quite real category…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Array says:

    It looks great. Yes, I notice the older recipe proportions too, and I usually put much less sugar in whatever I make. Here near Woodstock NY it is also that thaw-smell today since the snow is melting a bit, but not enough to all disappear. I love to have the seasons still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Yes, I like the seasons as well, but Virginia is about as cold a place as I want to be! Today it is raining, which we need, and pretty darn warm. Thanks for stopping by. I’m about to write about sourdough if I can get around to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. reocochran says:

    Lisa, I love the play on words in our receiving our “just desserts.” So much fun here. I’m glad to learn about the weddings, sad about the hotel closure. The recipe sounds and looks scrumptious! 🍎🍏


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