When I was in culinary school in Alabama back in the 90s, I read the Birmingham News and the Birmingham Post-Herald every single day. On Wednesdays I kept a pair of scissors handy so I could cut recipes out of the food section.
Just like my mom and grandma did in the 70s.
One of the best recipes I ever wrangled out of the Birmingham News was an Alabama State Fair winning apple cake that featured a heavy dose of peanut oil in the batter. I blew minds with that formula for years before I somehow managed to lose the yellowed, old clipping.
Last fall I was desperate for a rich slab of apple cake so I sat down with pad and pen and began wool-gathering to see if I could summon up that old Alabama State Fair winner
This recipe is dedicated to the little old granny women of the Deep South, the Nellies, Berthas, Hazels and Gerties hunched over kitchen tables with scissors in hand, gleaning recipes from the weekly food sections of their daily papers.
Alabama Apple Cake Recipe
1.5 c. oil, peanut
.75 c. sugar
.75 c. sugar, brown
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. self-rising flour
1 c. chopped pecans
3 c. chopped peeled apples (Granny Smith)
* Combine oil and sugar, whip thoroughly with wire whisk
* Add eggs and vanilla, whip til thoroughly combined
* Slowly add flour, blending carefully with wooden spoon
* Fold in pecans and apples
* Mixture will be extremely thick and dense
* Pour mix into bundt pan greased with Baker’s Joy non-stick spray (the best on the market)
* Bake at 350 degrees for one hour
* Turn cake out onto wire rack
This cake will not be that much better than the best cake you ever put in your mouth
Add a little cinnamon to the mix if you’re of a mind
This cake needs no icing
Oddly, this cake tastes better after it’s ‘set up’ for a day or two
Peanut oil really adds something to this recipe-please do not scrimp by using a cheaper oil
A nice pot of strong coffee or a glass of cold cow’s milk makes a fine pairing with this cake
Booze hounds would do well to match a Russian Imperial Stout with this cake