An Absolute Must!: Rachel & Louis’ Apple Cake

I wrote not long ago, that I was pining for the Puopolo’s Pesto recipe. Well….I got it. And let me just say – it was worth waiting for (and lived up to the hype!) I need to be born Italian in my next life. In any case, I am sworn to secrecy (Louis is serious about this) and in deference to Helen & Lou Puopolo who perfected the recipe over the years (they even snubbed the Pesto they had in Italy compared to their own), I accept my vow of silence.

Having said that – Rachel and Louis quite simply exceeded expectations yesterday. It is actually a recipe that they found in the NY Times – which reprinted this recipe from 1973. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bundt pan (and in an Italian kitchen no less!). All I have to say – this cake is heavenly. Pure perfection. Moist and rich, yet light and velvety. Rachel and Louis added pecans to the mix – and I am going to follow it word for word. I was going to make some apple pie for the Holy American Thanksgiving, but I think Teddie’s – I mean Rachel and Louis’ – Apple cake just bumped it out.

To see the NY Times article (with a gorgeous picture of this cake) click here.
1973: Teddie’s Apple Cake

This recipe appeared in The Times in an article by Jean Hewitt.

Butter for greasing pan

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

Vanilla ice cream (optional).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.

2. Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins and stir until combined.

3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serves 8



Filed under desserts, Links

3 responses to “An Absolute Must!: Rachel & Louis’ Apple Cake

  1. Shem… (I hope I’m getting it right in as much as I am more used to Joes, Michaels, Marias, Louis; certainly the Barry, Lynn, Stuart and even a Zev… but, Shem, not too often so please bear with me)

    I found your posting to be really a kick and the fact that Louis shared the secret recipe does put him in jeopardy for receiving any others from his Mom. You see, promising to honor the confidence and trust of a secret, as you have done so, in this era of torture being an accepted means of American pursuit towards an end, even a family receipe, puts a whole new look at what can be shared and what cannot be and when to take that chance and when not to. Not to say anything about the risk you are opening up that trusted friend and colleague to…

    So… it does seem that while Louis did transgress he did so with such a person and people of high taste, good humor and food appreciation that his decision must have been positively influenced and is almost understandable, nay acceptable.


    Lou and Helen

  2. Yona…

    I re-read Louis’ note to me and noticed on the second time around that it was you who was doing the posting – I do not know why I jumped to Shem. Do you see what I mean about what unfamiliarity can bring…

    Anyway… all else remains as it was with a special emphasis on “people of high taste, good humor and food appreciation”.


  3. A M

    Well, well, well…

    It’s out there now, in the ether, floating near the Spinach Pie and Strawberry Shortcake recipe. While I understand the need to share as an adult and responsible partner in a relationship, I always thought the Pesto recipe was coveted and held close our Puopolo hearts. Growing up with parmesan cheese as an item used without discretion, I can understand how the basil paste must be spread, in more ways than one. I guess it’s OK, but it can only go so far…

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