Crumbly Apple Cake with Fennel Seeds
There are at least six apple trees here at The Windy Poplars. Three are mature trees, the others grow wildly, low to the ground at different angles, and appear more bramble-like. One of the elder trees is completely hollowed straight through its trunk to where it splits off into branches, and it is where a gentle, downy woodpecker spends a good part of her morning. At first I thought she was simply enjoying breakfast, alternating bites between fruit and whatever else she could scavenge, but upon further inspection, it seems our friend has made herself a home. The tree is still remarkably healthy (downy woodpeckers often nest in dead parts of live trees) as you can see from the piles of apples it produces and drops to the ground. Throughout the day you’ll hear velvety thumps as fruit falls from all of the trees (including two more, which are pear) to the damp grass, which already needs to be cut again. For a non-working farm, this farm is a lot of work.
Needless to say, these glorious trees grow more fruit than one can keep up with. Given I am not about to start making cider or open a U-pick, and our return to Hudson approaches, I made a cake, one with fennel seeds and one that leans savory, like me. It is one of the first things I made when we bought the house two years ago. I’m unclear as to what type of apples they are, but they are crisp and tart, which is my idea of a perfect apple.
Rosh Hashanah begins this Friday, September 15 and I believe it would be a lovely dessert to serve. My mother’s father was Jewish (I never met him, that’s memoir material) and culturally I was raised Italian-American with some German in there and no religion to speak of. But, I spent my youth and young adulthood celebrating the high holidays with friends who are Jewish. I love them, yes both the friends and the holidays. And, if I were a guest somewhere this year, I would offer to make this cake. If you are celebrating, you should to.
Today is the last day I’m offering 50% off yearly subscriptions. I rarely do these types of promotions, so if you’ve been on the fence about becoming a paid subscriber, now is your time! It truly does help me keep going and keeps this publication afloat and I would be so grateful if you are able. Click CELEBRATE to sign up for the offer.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Colu Cooks to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.