:D This is a family favorite at the holidays. It is a tasty alternative to traditional fruit cake. The soaked apples in the baking soda and water solution serve as leavening. When the baked cakes are frozen for a couple of weeks before serving it, the flavors meld and apples turn the prettiest red.
First, chop 1and 1/2 cups Red Delicious apples and place into soaking solution of 2 level teaspoons baking soda and 6 tablespoons of water for at least an hour--longer is better. Meanwhile, assemble the following ingredients into 2 bowls--one for wet ingredients, the bigger bowl is for the dry ingredients.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup veg oil
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup dark raisins
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients JUST until combined. You may fold in your raisins and nuts at the last, or add them into the dry ingredients. The cake batter will be fairly stiff, but it makes 2 large loaves of this nut bread/cake. Grease and flour your selected pans and place cake batter into them; bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Do not open oven door for the first 20 minutes of baking as the cakes will fall if opened any sooner. The fruit in this cake will turn a bright red when kept in the freezer at least 2-3 weeks before serving--this is why our family loves them so much over the holidays! I grew up with them, literally.
Now, for those who watch sugars, calories, etc, I have just made a batch using stevia or Sucralose sugar substitute--In place of the sugar, measure 1 cup of your chosen sugar substitute to the dry ingredients, and add 1/2 cup of natural, unsweetened applesauce to this mixture before preparing batter in pans to bake them. The applesauce adds the needed moisture to keep the cakes in proper texture. I tried making them with stevia, but my results were a drier cake.
I hope you enjoy making these--if you bake them in mini bundt pans, they are pretty to give at holiday time.
Sassysewer53 aka Ronda Reed