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
- Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
- Work the butter into the dry mix with your fingers until it resembles coarse corn meal.
- Add the milk, enough to make a stiff batter.
- Spread batter in greased 10” by 8” glass pan.
- Press apple slices into the top of the dough, arranged in rows.
- Sprinkle well with cinnamon and sugar.
- Dot the top with small bits of butter.
- Bake at 350o for 45 min or until the cake is slightly brown and pulls away from the edge of the pan.
- 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.