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Apple kuchen

Makes one 9-inch cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 baking apples, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced (see below)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan or a deep pie dish.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

3. In another bowl with a wooden spoon, cream the butter until soft. Add granulated sugar and beat it until the mixture is blended. Beat in the eggs, one by one.

4. Beat in the oil, lemon rind and juice, and vanilla.

5. Stir in the flour mixture, beating until the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.

6. Arrange the apples in overlapping rows on the batter. For the square pan, make rows of apples, for the round dish make concentric circles.

7. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Work the mixture with your hands to mix them well. Sprinkle them all over the apples.

8. Bake the kuchen for 40 to 45 minutes or until the sides of the cake are firm and golden. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, sprinkle generously with confectioners' sugar, and cut into squares or wedges to serve. Sheryl Julian

Bake with these
For baked goods, choose apples that are not watery. These include Cortland, Empire, Gravenstein, Jonagold, Jonathan, Northern Spy, and Rome.

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