I used to eat two raw apples a day during apple season. Paula Red was my favorite variety, with a crisp tart sweetness that satisfied my snacking urge. Add a few crackers and some sharp cheddar cheese, and the snack was sublime.
When Honeycrisp apples debuted, I started to notice a tingling in my lips when I ate them. Then I started noticing this weird sensation in my throat anytime I ate an apple of any variety.
I called my mom, who for years avoided eating raw apples because they made her allergic. "Oh no. It sounds like you have it too."
Yes, I had developed an oral allergy to raw apples. And, I discovered, grapes. Sometimes pineapple, too. Chamomile tea? Forget it.
Damn. I loved all these fruits. I did a little research and discovered that this form of allergy wasn't so strange at all, and was directly related to my other allergies, particularly trees and grasses.
The good news is that eating these fruits cooked does not elicit the same reaction. The bad news is that cooked fruits aren't nearly as portable. And, the cooked versions often entail tasty, yet caloric, accoutrements. Crust. Crumble. Pastry. Sugar. Butter...
No mind. I must have my apples.
And this week's cake is a fine way to eat this delicious seasonal fruit, surrounded by luscious cake, moistened with apple butter, and spiked with spices.
I made half the recipe, and used almost all whole wheat flour because I'm out of regular unbleached white flour (I'm stocking up in Michigan this coming weekend, where bags of KA are $2.89 versus the $5.99 I pay here in Wisconsin). I used organic apple butter. To increase the spiciness and add a bit more texture (especially needed since I omitted the raisins), I chopped some candied ginger and tossed it into the batter. Oh, and I chose local Empire apples, crisp, and if I remember my apples correctly, my favorite blend of tartness with a hint of sweet.
This cake is unbelievable moist, and absolutely delicious. It's a much-desired taste of apple that doesn't provoke an allergic reaction. Thank you, Lynne of Honey Muffin, for selecting this recipe. Click over to her blog for the recipe, and check out the TWD site for a list of everyone who made this week's recipe.