Juliette Carr responds: Definitely wash and chop the burdock--don't peel it. You can grate it if you want but it will take...
- Ready in: 20 minutes prep; bake 1 hour
- Serves: 8
- Complexity: medium
In the spring, the Robinsons cooked with dried fruit from the previous fall. This recipe of theirs has been adapted for modern dried apples, which are soft and spongy. If you are using home–dried apples that are tough and leathery, you will need to boil them in water before they can be easily cut.
- 2 cups dried apples
- 2 cups molasses
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- “spices of all kinds to suit your taste”:
- 1 Tb. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup sour milk, or 1 cup milk plus 1 tsp. white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9” x 13” baking pan.
Cut the dried apples into raisin–size pieces. Combine the molasses, boiling water, and apples in a small saucepan and simmer until the apples are cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the butter to the hot molasses and stir to melt, then scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs one at a time into the molasses mixture.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients in three parts to the molasses and butter mixture, alternating with the sour milk. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for an hour, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
This cake improves in flavor after a day or two, and will keep for at least a week. It is excellent served warm with fresh butter or whipped cream or, for a modern touch, some sifted powdered sugar.