When we moved into our house in 1977, my mom and dad gave us two 'Red Delicious' apple trees - the most commonly grown apple in Ohio - and they have produced fruit every year since we planted them. They're somewhat like the oak trees with their acorns, in that some years they produce more apples than they do others.
We had an abundance of apples this year, but they were small, as they usually are. Our neighbor Tom has a couple of 'Red Delicious' apple trees, too, but for some reason his produced larger apples. He extended an invitation to us to pick as many of his as we wanted, so we took him up on his offer.
Large or small, the apples are very good and we use them in a variety of ways - apple pie, apple crisp, apple salad, and eating them fresh off the tree.
This year, I tried a new way - apple cake. When I spoke to the Master Gardeners of Defiance County a couple of weeks ago, the host for the meeting, Nancy DeTray, had made an apple cake that was just about the best stuff I'd ever eaten in quite some time. She graciously shared the recipe with me and gave me permission to publish it here. I bet you'll think it's pretty good, too.
Beat until frothy:
1 cup oil
Add the following and blend well:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
4 cups diced apples (Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp are recommended)
1 cup nuts (I used pecans, but you can use walnuts)
Pour cake batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for 45-55 minutes at 325°F.
6 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons vanilla
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1½ cups powdered sugar
Blend and pour on hot cake.
Though 'Red Delicious' is not usually recommended for baking, they worked well for this cake.