Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday's Child

Monday's Child
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
And the child that is born on born on the Sabbath day,
Is bonny and blithe, good and gay.

 ** I admit that I looked up blithe.  I wasn't too sure what it meant so I went to the thesaurus.  Happy, carefree, lighthearted, joyous, cheerful, vivacious, sunny... you get the picture.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week.  I have very likely already said that at least once in a blog post.  I am a Sunday's Child.  Do you know what day of the week you were born on?  The Ex-Ex had no idea when I asked him so I googled.  He was born on a Monday.  College-grad son on a Tuesday and high school-age son on a Monday.  And yes, that is me above with Tommy, my 22 year old dad (born on a Saturday).  College-grad son is already older than that.  Wow.
I love to spend my Sunday mornings baking.  I have probably said that a few times, too.  Today's recipe was a French one from La Cuillère that showed up on facebook one day this week.   It is billed as an ideal recipe for beginners.  You have to love that.  Along with ingredients that you probably have on hand.  (I had to buy the almonds, but when I do this one again, I think I will leave them out.)
I happen to have rum on hand because I borrowed a bottle from my BFF a while back to make another recipe.  Neither she nor her husband have asked for it back.  I use it sparingly, but I do indeed use it.  But I don't drink it.
If I use it all and they want me to replace it, I am in trouble.  I have never been to the Cayman Islands and don't have a trip planned anytime soon, even for 12 year old rum.
The raisins soaked in it prior to being added to the batter--
Bet they were happy little raisins, plumping up in that sauce for an hour or so.
The batter, before adding apples, almonds and drunken raisins, was very tasty.  Hmmm... what's not to like about butter, flour, cinnamon and sugar?
Now it's all ready to go in the cold oven, not a preheated one.
Voilà!  The finished product.  Some good vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream would be a nice addition, n'est-ce pas?
I love the fact that the original recipe is in French.  I might not have a clue about how to solve an algebraic equation (I am not even sure I can spell it), but I can translate recipes from French to English. When I was living in France, I used a dictionary when I needed to find out what the mystery word was in a recipe.  Chef Érick had this one:  Dictionnaire Gastronomique Français/Anglais by Bernard Luce, published by Hippocrene Books.  I need to visit Amazon and buy my own copy. 
I also could not get along without my scale--

which came from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I bought it as soon as I returned home from sabbatical.  It measures in grams and ounces.   I suppose the Biggest Loser people have to measure their food, but it works just fine for recipe measurements, too.

Another lovely May Sunday is coming to an end.

Gâteau moelleux aux pommes et à la cannelle /  Soft Apple Cinnamon Cake
(pour 8 personnes / serves 8)

150 g de farine  /  1 1/4 c. flour (I use unbleached all-purpose)
130 g de sucre en poudre  /  3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 sachet de levure chimique  /  1 tsp. baking powder  (I guessed- I have no idea how much is in a French packet!)
2 cuillères à café rases de cannelle en poudre  /  2 tsp. of ground cinnamon (exact, not heaping)
3 oeufs (ou 4 s'ils sont petits)  /  3 eggs (or 4 if they are small)  (I let my come to room temperature)
130 g de beurre fondu  /  9 Tbsp. of melted butter
2 pommes  /  2 apples
3 cuillères à soupe de raisins secs  /  3 Tbsp. of raisins  (I used golden ones)
3 cuillères à soupe de rhum  /  3 Tbsp. of rum
50 g. d'amandes effilées /  1/2 c. slivered almonds

1.  Beurrer et fariner un moule à manqué d'environ 26 cm.  Faire fondre doucement le beurre au bain marie ou au micro-ondes et mettre éventuellement les raisins à tremper dans le rhum.

Butter and flour a springform pan.  Gently melt the butter in a warm water bath or in the microwave.  Place the raisins in the rum to soak.

2.  Mélanger la farine, la cannelle, le sucre et la levure (et une pincée de sel si le beurre est doux).  Ajourter les oeufs un à un, puis le beurre fondu.  Dans une poêle ou un wok, sans matière grasse, faire légèrement griller les amandes effilées.  Attention:  remuer et surveiller attentivement car elles brûlent très vite.  Si vous êtes pressé, vous pouvez ajouter les amandes nature (ce sera juste un peu moins parfumé).

Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar and the baking powder (and a pinch of salt if the butter is unsalted).  Add the eggs, one at a time, then the melted butter.  In a pan or wok, with no fat, lightly toast the almond slivers.  Be careful:  stir and watch them attentively because they burn very quickly.  If you are in a hurry, you can add them untoasted (they will just be a bit less fragrant).

3.  Eplucher les pommes, les couper en quatre et ôter le coeur et les pépins.  Découper les quartiers de pommes en petits dés d'environ 1 cm.  Les ajouter à la pâte ainsi que les amandes grillées et les raisins trempés dans le rhum et 3 cuillères du "jus" de trempage.  Bien mélanger.

Peel the apples, cut them in quarters and remove the core and seeds.  Dice the quarters in small pieces, around 1/4 inch.  (I didn't cut mine that small.)  Add the apples to the batter as well as the almonds and raisins, along with the "juice" they've been soaking in.  Mix well.

4.  Verser la pâte dans le moule et déposer dans un four froid.  Cuire environ 40 minutes, thermostat 6 (180˚C).  Au bout de 30 à 35 minutes, vérifier la cuisson en piquant le coeur du gâteau avec une lame:  si elle ressort sèche, c'est cuit.

Pour le batter into the pan and place it in a cold oven.  Bake it for about 40 minutes at 350˚F.  After 30-35 minutes, check it by sticking a toothpick in the middle of the cake.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done.  (I baked it for about 33 minutes.)

I allowed mine to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing the sides of the springform pan.

Bon appétit, to all Sunday children!

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