C is for Cinnamon

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Of all the spices in my spice drawer, cinnamon is the one I use most often. In addition to its wonderful aroma, it also has medicinal properties: studies have shown that it relieves arthritis pain, lowers LDL cholesterol and blood sugar, and boosts cognitive function and memory.  What I like about it is that it can be used in both sweet and savory foods.

By far my favorite use of cinnamon is in a recipe brought to this country from Poland by my great-grandmother in 1895: apple kuchen. I thought I’d share the simple recipe:

MEMMERE’S APPLE KUCHEN

½ cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

3 level tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp butter or margarine

¾ cup milk, more or less

3-4 Granny Smith apples, pared and sliced into wedges

Sugar and cinnamon for topping

  1. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Work the butter into the dry mix with your fingers until it resembles coarse corn meal.
  3. Add the milk, enough to make a stiff batter.
  4. Spread batter in greased 10” by 8” glass pan.
  5. Press apple slices into the top of the dough, arranged in rows.
  6. Sprinkle well with cinnamon and sugar.
  7. Dot the top with small bits of butter.
  8. Bake at 350o for 45 min or until the cake is slightly brown and pulls away from the edge of the pan.
  9. Do not overcook as it will be dry. (It will depend on how hot your oven runs.)

You can have this warm for breakfast or for dessert with ice cream.

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3 thoughts on “C is for Cinnamon

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