Consider seasonal produce

Published 10:57pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As the summer winds down and it becomes fall it is time to consider changing your fruits and vegetables.

I know that you can pretty much buy any type of vegetable or fruit year round, now but I try to buy what is actually in season. Peaches in December are just not going to taste the same, since they were loaded on a boat and shipped from who knows where. The time to enjoy a luscious juicy peach in the summer, when they are in the peak of their season.

Fall is when you need to consider different fruits such as apples. They are being harvested and now you can find so many more varieties then you used to.

This is wonderful coffee cake that highlights apples. The recipe calls for Granny Smith, but I prefer Gala. I like to serve this a dollop of whipped cream that I’ve mixed a little bit of cinnamon into. Also, this cake doesn’t freeze well, but if you wrap it in plastic wrap it will stay fresh for three days.

Apple coffee cake

Streusel topping

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

1 cup pecans, toasted

In a mixing bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Scatter the butter on top of the mixture, use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the mixture until it is coarse. Break up any large clumps. Stir in the nuts until evenly distributed.

Cake ingredients

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled chopped, Granny Smith apples

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Use an electric mixer and beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla until well combined. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat just until blended, do not over mix.

Spoon half the batter into the buttered pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the apples over the batter and top with half of the streusel. Spoon the remaining batter on top and then sprinkle the remaining streusel over the top. Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and remove sides. Delicious at room temperature or warm.

Christina Hall writes a lifestyle column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.