Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, introduced the apple to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance of apples.
After his father had lost two good farms during the American Revolution, he placed young John on the track as an apple orchard apprentice. When John left home, he set out planting nurseries (not orchards as the pictures often depict). He would return every two years or so to tend to the nursery. He asked that the trees be sold on credit but would accept items like cornmeal or used clothes.
He was given the apple seeds for free since the cider mills were vying for more apples. He dressed in the worst of his clothing and did not wear shoes. He had a very generous spirit and had a big heart towards animals, even insects.
March 11 is considered Johnny Appleseed Day. Today is considered the day of his death, although the exact date is disputed. Another Johnny Appleseed Day is sometimes celebrated in September for the day of his birth, but the March date is more common as it is during planting season. (Information from Wikipedia.)
In celebration of Johnny Appleseed and his generous nature, I am sharing this beautiful Apple Pie Cake with you! Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!
Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake
- For The Dough
- 100 grams of butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 3/4 cups of flour
- For The Filling
- 5 medium apples
- Squirt of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, soaked in hot water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Then, add the lime juice. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough should begin to pull off the sides of the bowl. If it does not, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Form dough into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days.
- Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lime juice. Add the craisins, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Press one half of the dough into the bottom of a 8x8 square baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Pour the apple mixture over the bottom dough. Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Tuck any excess into the sides of the pan.
- Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.
- Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature.
Bakers Notes: I did substitute dried cranberries for raisins since I am not a fan of raisins. Because of the humid climate, I likely should have added a tablespoon or two more flour since my dough was still a tad sticky and I had a lot of trouble rolling it out.
© 2011-2013 Provecho Peru. All Rights Reserved.
Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake is being served up for Tuesdays With Dorie. This weeks TWD recipe was chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits. Enjoy more Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie cake by visiting the blogroll at the Tuesdays With Dorie website.