Each fall the town of Conway hosts what it calls the Festival of the Hills. This rich Apple Pound Cake with a caramel glaze celebrates the mature flavors of that event. It comes from Conway’s Martha Harrington, who serves it to guests at her homey Nestle Inn. She recommends dishing it up with a dollop of whipped cream.
Apple Pound Cake
- ½ cup apple slices, (peeled) plus 2 cups pared and shredded apples
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1½ cups oil (Martha uses corn oil)
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- ½ cup (1 stick) sweet butter
- ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Grease and four a 10-inch tube pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping pattern on the bottom of the pan.
- Combine the four, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, white sugar, eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the oil mixture until the combination is smooth.
- Fold in the shredded apple pieces and the pecans and turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool the cake for 20 minutes, and remove it from the pan.
- To prepare the topping, bring the butter, brown sugar and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Spoon the hot mixture over the cooled cake, allowing it to run down the sides (It gets absorbed better if you stick holes in the cake with a fork before spooning.) This cake tastes even better the next day, says Martha.
by Martha Harrington