In the photo, I put the walnuts on top of the frosting rather than in the batter. I like to use a tart apple like Cortlands.
4 cup peeled and chopped apples
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon (or 3/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix together apples, raisins, sugar and cinnamon (and nutmeg, if used) in a large bowl and stir thoroughly. Let this mixture sit for one hour, stirring occasionally. Juice will begin to form - do not drain off. Meanwhile, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Grease and flour a 9" X 13" pan.
After the apples have marinated for an hour, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla and add to the apple mixture. Stir well, and then add the flour mixture. Mix well with a spoon and then add the nuts. Mix and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Notes: I like to substitute chopped dates for the raisins. Walnuts are the traditional nuts for this cake but I have used pecans or more often, omitted the nuts altogether.
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (not the sweetened condensed milk)
Pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the brown sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the milk and salt. Return to the stove and bring to a full boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar and vanilla, beating until icing is thick enough to spread.
NOTE: I don't use a mixer for this, just a big spoon.
Yield: enough for a 13 X 9 inch cake or a 2-layer cake. Recipe should be doubled for a 3-layer 8-inch cake.