Apples and Plums and Pears, OH MY!

So here at last is the long-awaited third post about free food! Apples, plums, and pears, are three types of fruit that are often found in abundance in the fall. Last year I talked about canned pears, which are one of my favorite things to make. I also discovered a delicious recipe for Spiced Plum Jam, in my favorite canning book Food in Jars. Of course you can always just eat them out of hand too, but if you’re fortunate enough to come across a large amount of fruit, it’s fun to try out some new recipes.

Applesauce is an easy and predictable use for a load of apples, especially if you try the recipe for Spiced Applesauce (also in Food in Jars). But what else can you do with applesauce besides eat it plain? You can make a fabulous moist, gluten-free, but totally decadent Maple Applesauce Cake! Marissa McClellan has a third book called Naturally Sweet Food in Jars that has another recipe for a plain applesauce, AND the recipe for this fantastic sweet. My Hubbins loves it, and I’m going to share the recipe with you today! I use my spiced (and sweetened) applesauce, but the original calls for unsweetened. Do whatever you like!

You can make this cake in one 9×13 pan, or two 8×8 pans, or 8 or 9 inch rounds. Or a bundt pan. Or muffin tins. Go wild! It tastes good plain, or with cream cheese frosting. It also uses oat flour, which is very easy to make. Just put a couple cups of oats in a blender, food processor, or in a Nutribullet with a milling blade. Whiz it up until smooth, and you have oat flour!

To make the cake, put:

2 cups oat flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp  each ground cloves, allspice, and salt in a bowl and sift together.

Mix 1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter with 3/4 cup pure maple syrup in a different bowl. Add 4 large beaten eggs and 2 cups unsweetened applesauce. Mix until well combined. Then add the dry ingredient mix in three batches until smooth. If you like add 3/4 raisins and/or 1 cup chopped nuts. I like it with raisins, never tried the nuts.

Fill your buttered pans of choice and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Smaller pans bake for 30 minutes, larger ones for 45-50.

After baking let cool completely, then top with cream cheese frosting:

Mix 1 stick softened unsalted butter with one 8 ounce package softened cream cheese. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 to 1/2 cup confectioners sugar depending on how sweet you like it. Beat until smooth and frost that cake! With a jug of syrup in the fridge and jars of applesauce lining your shelves, you’re just a few minutes of work away from this special treat anytime of year!

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