one of the glorious things about new england is that we fully experience all four seasons...and fall is unleashing it's beauty on us right now. to celebrate, we attended the gordon college alumni apple picking day at russell orchards. we had never been before (we used to be slacker alumni) and didn't know what to expect. it was great! there were free cider donuts and apple cider and so many wonderful alumni and my co-workers wandering around. there are so many wonderful people within the gordon family and it's a joy to be a part of it. and, beyond the tasty treats and wonderful people, there were apples! there is nothing like a fresh apple. ry and i had a great time exploring the orchard and tasting which apples would be best to pick. we filled up our ten pound bag and pondered on the different apple-y treats we could make. here are a few pictures from the day, followed by a recipe for the most delicious cinnamon-apple cake we made last night with some of our pickings (it's totally easy and completely delicious and 100% worth making - i might even make it again next weekend...):
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
6 oz block style 1/3 less than fat cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups chopped peeled apples (about 3-4 apples)
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well blended. add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; set aside.
3. lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. add flour mixture to creamed mixture, and beat at low speeduntil blended. combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. combine 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl; stir apple mixture into batter. pour batter into an 8 inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
4. bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until cake pulls away from the sides of pan. cool cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.