Fall is my favorite time of the year and, having moved to Florida, this is when I miss the Northeast most – the turning of the leaves, the crisp bite in the air, pumpkin-flavored everything and the abundance of apples at the farmers’ market. We still get a decent selection of apples here, but they’re not exactly local, and there’s nowhere
near the variety. But I remain inspired by my memories, and continue to bake up a storm with harvest flavors throughout the season. Currently I’m on an apple kick, as you may have noticed. Here’s one of my favorite fall recipes, a simple, homespun cake made with applesauce (use your own or a good organic jarred one) and
flavored with fall spices – cinnamon, cloves and ginger. I use turbinado instead of white sugar in the cake, and this gives it a slightly coarser texture and a complex flavor with a just a hint of molasses. But it’s the topping that takes the cake – a silky cream cheese and maple frosting and lots of crunchy, sugar-coated pecans. Make
sure to use a pure maple extract -- not that horrible artificial maple "flavoring" that's so frequently used in maple desserts. You can find it in better supermarkets (Whole Foods has it) or on Amazon. For an extra hit of maple, drizzle each slice with a little Grade A pure maple syrup right before serving.