Grandma Niesing, a large Dutch woman, owned a rambling farm just down the road from my grandparent’s. 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!
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Core and coarsely chop the apples and pears. You may choose to peel your apples and pears--I never do. Place apples and pears along with sage, cinnamon and rum in a medium pan and cover. Cook over medium heat until soft and and the fruit is easily mashed. If the sauce is too moise, cook uncovered to allow some of the moisture to evaporate. Add honey, to taste, if desired. I often omit it as the apple and pears are often sweet. Set aside
Sift dry ingredients together
In medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Mix wet ingredients
In another, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in eggs, sage and apple/pear sauce until well combined. Gradually add in dry mixture and combine thoroughly. Mixture will be a bit lumpy if you have chunky apple/pear sauce.
Prep the pan
Core and thinly slice one apple and pear. Toss with just enough lemon juice to cover. sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Liberally butter the sides and bottom of a 9 1/2 inch pan. Arrange the apple and pear slices on the bottom of pan. Portion batter over the sliced apples and pears being careful to not disturb them. Smooth out batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with cream.
Healing energetics and properties: Apples and pears nourish Yin and and the Earth element and its organs, Spleen and Stomach. It also influences the Yin of the Lungs. The spices, warm and help to drain dampness and phlegm. The cake is sweet but the fiber from the apples and pears (especially if you leave the peel on) helps to reduce blood sugar swings--still, don't overindulge.
Diplomate, Asian Bodywork Therapy (Dipl. ABT NCCAOM)
Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CHN)
AOBTA Certified Instructor & Practitioner
I have been practicing and teaching since 1994. I maintain my private therapy practice at Pulse Holistic Health offer Amma Therapy, Holistic Nutrition therapy sessions and classes for the public. In 2016, I started teaching Amma therapy apprentices again. I write regularly and offer classes in continuing education and for the public.