Grandma Niesing, a large Dutch woman, owned a rambling farm just down the road from my grandparents. Though not actually related, the families had known each other for so long, she was another grandmother by default. I spent vacation time playing with her granddaughter who would visit, occasionally helped with chores, and we would meander over for cider and caramel apples for Halloween–there’s not much trick-or-treating when the farm houses are so far apart–you just show up and have treats with them. The scary part is wandering the dark, unlit lanes back home. And Grandma Niesing cooked–for her family, friends and for the workers on her farm, so I sought her help when a school assignment had me hunting up a Dutch recipe.
“Well, it simply must be an applesauce cake.” She jotted down the recipe for me.
This recipe is a variation from the original. I’ve tossed out the white sugar, and I make my own apple and pear sauce with honey. I’ve added i in the sage for their musty, earthy flavor and I’ve upped the spices a bit. It’s become a family favorite, Clara loves it for her birthday, even at tournaments–yeah! No neon frosting!