“It all started from a recipe box circa 1930.”
My mom called me the other week to ask me if I’d like my great grandmother’s old recipe box. Of course I wanted it, but between work and leaving town almost every weekend, I let the box slip my mind. It wasn’t until a couple of days ago when I was trying to brainstorm some new summer recipes that I thought of the treasures left behind by my Grandma Hufford. I picked up the faded green plastic box, which had a magazine cut out of a meatloaf recipe “that your husband is sure to love” hanging from a yellowed strip of tape on the front. Fanning a handful of recipes through my fingers like a deck of cards, I almost cried from shear excitement.
What a gift to leave behind. Handwritten and typed recipes passed down from generations to generations, all tried and tested by my sweet and talented great grandmother.
These recipes have given me the chance to feel as if I’m cooking in the kitchen with my own kin who I only knew from my early childhood. I’ve heard stories and seen many pictures, but from these recipes alone I can easily tell that Grandma Hufford and I were a lot alike. She loved food, entertaining, and family. What a legacy to pass down.
This apple kuchen was the first recipe I decided to try. I had absolutely no idea what kuchen was until I did a quick Google search. I also was stumped when I read that the recipe called for “oleo,” something I learned was a “back when” term for butter or margarine (I used canola oil). I discovered that, true to our German roots, kuchen is the German word for cake. This simple recipe was so much fun to make, and the final product is not like any other apple cake you have tried before. I would say it’s an even mix between pie, cake, and custard. I would also say it’s simply delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 medium apples, thinly sliced
Juice from 1 large lemon
1 cup of flour, sifted
1/3 cup of canola oil
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a glass pie dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the sugar and eggs for 15 minutes. (I know it’s a long time, but I promise it’s worth it!)
While the sugar and eggs are beating, slice the apples (without skin) and toss with lemon juice to keep them from browning.
When the egg mixture is ready, fold in the sifted flour and oil alternately until smooth.
Pour the mixture into your pan, arranging the apple slices on top. (I very slightly pushed mine into the batter).
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar and dot with butter.
I baked mine for about 55 minutes and it was perfect.
I hope you enjoy my Grandma Hufford’s apple kuchen. My whole family devoured it very quickly.
It’s great served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream…or both.
Always remember to never forget where you came from.