Lithuanian Apple CakePublished in Amherst Citizen
As I am sure many of you know by now, I am British. However, for the last few years I have been teaching classes in Lithuanian cooking. There is a large Lithuanian community in and around Nashua and I was asked to research and then teach classes on Lithuanian cooking. What I find particularly pleasing is that at least half of the participants are of Lithuanian descent and confirm that the dishes bring back memories of the foods cooked by their mothers and grandmothers. What is even more interesting is that very few of these recipes have been passed down (at least locally) so that I am able to reintroduce these people to their heritage. Together we have discovered Lithuanian history and traditions.
This cake is one of the cakes I presented. Obviously many of the recipes are simplified or modified to take advantage of what's available nowadays, but they still remain dishes based on ingredients we all would recognize and are suitable for families today. I see no point in teaching any dishes that are just curiosities and of no practical use. But please don't think that Lithuanian cuisine is just cabbage and potatoes.
Last month we had French style crepes filled with a rich mushroom, cream, lemon and dill sauce, followed by this apple cake. We have also enjoyed pan fried trout with sauce, wild mushroom and potato soup, glazed ham for Easter and many other dishes. The classes are sponsored by the Zylonis Fund and are free and open to the public who can register by calling the Chandler Library, Nashua on 594-3415.
Lithuanian Apple Cake
Method1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Mix sliced apples, sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
3. Grease and flour 10" ring pan or bundt pan.
4. Put the yogurt , sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, orange rind, flour and baking powder all together in a large bowl and mix together until smooth.
5. Once blended, mix with the electric mixer for 2 minutes to aerate the mixture more.
6. Slowly add up to the ¼ c orange juice until a thick batter is left.
7. Fold in apple mixture gently and then pour batter into prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour until top is golden brown and well risen. Check with a fine knife that the cake is cooked through. If you only use a toothpick to check cake then you can miss raw batter.
8. Remove from oven, leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to finish cooling. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
I have been asked about different size pans. I would really not recommend making this in a 9x5" loaf pan as it would be too dense to cook evenly. However, it should cook satisfactorily in a 9 x 13" pan for a decreased cooking time of about 35-40 minutes.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, is a qualified teacher and offers a Personal Chef and Catering Service. She can be seen frequently on WMUR ABC's Channel 9 Cooks Corner. Contact Oonagh on 424-6412 or visit her web site at Geocities.com/CookingWithOonagh.