Saturday, June 18, 2011

A VERY Late Harvest

I know – what am I doing posting a fall-ish recipe in the middle of June? Well, I figure that cake is a universal food... who needs to play by the seasonal rules when freezers are invented and apples are always around? I actually was inspired to make this after I – ahem – overbought a host of Red Prince apples because they’re delicious. But being the only apple eater around, I had a few that got a bit past their prime and not being enough to warrant sauce-making I got my bake on! I knew that we had a half-bag or so of cranberries in the freezer (left over from Christmas) and I had ground some of that season’s roasted squash seeds into a coarse flour that was very popular with my peers at school when I used it in banana bread a few months back. I also discovered in the midst of my “pantry rooting” some candied pineapple I had baked into biscotti in December. Everything came together nicely when I found a recipe in an old copy of LCBO’s magazine, and though it totally wasn’t what I expected (the batter is more a dough!) it was even better than I imagined with my “veganizing” and flour additions! The tasters at school loved the mysterious hint of coconut, mesquite and banana flavours, the pop of the cranberries and of course the pumpkin seed meal.

So while it might not be July yet, you can enjoy a summery “Christmastime” with all the yummy treats the cold, dark months also bring. Call it “extending the harvest”, call it crazy, or just call it what it is – plain good food.

Harvest Cake
Serves 10
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
2 tbsp mesquite flour (optional, but GOOD!)
½ tsp powdered stevia extract
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup coarsely ground, toasted pumpkin seeds (from 1/3 cup whole)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large, over-ripe banana
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup cold brewed apple herb tea
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
3.5 oz candied pineapple, diced
¾ cup cranberries, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F, line an 8" springform pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flours, stevia, coconut, pumpkin seeds, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mash banana with sugar, agave, vanilla, orange zest, oil and tea.
  4. Add the dry mixture and fold in. Dough is slightly stiff.
  5. Spread two-thirds in bottom of pan and top with an even layer of apples, pineapple and cranberries.
  6. Pull off small pieces of remaining dough, flatten slightly and lay on top of fruit, allowing some to peek through.
  7. Bake for 75 minutes or until tests done.
  8. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; then remove from pan and finish cooling on the rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 260.6
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 28.8 mg
Total Carbs: 50.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 3.6 g