Okay, I realize this is very out of the ordinary (much like my random post earlier this week), but I just had to share.
In Summer Snow, the sequel to After the Leaves Fall, a small apple orchard on Nellie's farm plays an important role. You won't read about it in After the Leaves Fall, but since it is autumn and since the apple orchard in question was inspired by the apple trees in my parents' backyard (we're up to our eyeballs in apples right now), I thought I'd share my favorite apple recipe with you. This is my grandmother's recipe and it's something that I am just sure Julia grew up on, as I did. I can imagine her eating spoonfuls of the caramel sauce, something I was caught doing on more than one occassion. And if you don't like pudding, don't let the name of this dessert fool you--it's actually a dense cake.
Anyway, enjoy. It's amazing...
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking soda
10 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the apples. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add the flour mixture to the apple mixture. Stir well. Pour in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back in the center when lightly touched. Serve with warm caramel sauce.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup half & half or sweet cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla and cream. Heat through and serve warm, drizzled over apple pudding.