October 25, 2007

We, the people...


The United States spent the year in bicentennial celebration. Speeches were delivered. Fireworks detonated. Flags waved. The School House Rock team created catchy cartoons designed teach American children their history in a way they understood between episodes of Scooby Doo and Dyno Mutt, Dog Wonder:

Hey, do you know about the U.S.A.?
Do you know about the government?
Can you tell me about the Constitution?
Hey, learn about the U.S.A.

In 1787 I'm told
Our founding fathers did agree
To write a list of principles
For keepin' people free.

The U.S.A. was just startin' out.
A whole brand-new country.
And so our people spelled it out
The things that we should be.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected 39th president of the United States. A first class stamp cost 13 cents. Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl. Cincinnati won the World Series. Montreal won the Stanley Cup. Dorothy Hamill captured American hearts on the ice (and inspired teenage hairstyles for years to come). Nadia Comaneci stole the stage with seven perfect tens. Your heroine turned 8 years old.

And on November 3, 1976, the Oakland Tribune published my contribution to this month's Retro Recipe Challenge. I figured a cake studded with apples (and doused in their alcoholic derivative) was the perfect homage to another American hero of sorts: Johnny Appleseed.

Apple Pound Cake
originally published in the Oakland (California) Tribune, Wednesday November 3, 1976

3 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups corn oil
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups finely chopped pared apple
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup applejack
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (in a medium bowl). In large bowl of an electric mixer, at medium speed, beat together oil, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture until smooth. Fold in apples, pecans and raisins. Turn into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan (I used a bundt pan).

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

Combine applejack, apple juice, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Prick top of cake with a fork. Carefully spoon the applejack syrup over the cake. When it is cool, store it in an airtight container.

Urp. A couple of days earlier, and this would have been a worthy contribution to Andrew's edition of Sugar High Friday.

Bon appetit!

The full School House Rock version of the preamble to the United States Constitution in all its glory:

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jerry said...

Hmmm, I turned 8 that year myself! My wife wasn't born yet. Agatha Christie passed away, as did Howard Hughes and Mao Zedong.

It was the year my father was nearly arrested for starting the stalled fireworks show early with a flare gun. (Fun!) He wasn't caught, but made the papers.

I still wore an Elvis T-Shirt

And I think I've eaten the same cake. My mother probably saw the recipe in the same place.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane!


Deborah said...

I year before I was born - it sounds like I missed a lot of fun!! This cake sounds fantastic, though!

Brittany said...

"I'm just a bill sitting here on capital hill"....ahhh school house rock. Such fuzzy memories. When I first saw this post I thought it WAS for SHF!
This cake sounds both totally retro and delicious. i'd better try it : )

Melynda Huskey said...

"We were suffering until suffrage / Not a woman who could vote no matter what age / Till the nineteenth amendment struck down that restrictive rule!"

Sing it, sister--but finish that mouthful of tipsy apple cake first.

How I love apple cake--especially when filled with healthy and delicious oil! I'm giving this one a spin for sure.

Thanks for hosting a fabulous challenge--and for a completely delightful round up.

Laura Rebecca said...

Great recipe, Dolores! Not only did you do a bang up job on this cake, but you excelled as an RRC host. Thank you again for your hard work.