Monday, March 4, 2024

Crepe Stack Cake

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Grandma Gay sent me home with a whole lot of apples from her back yard trees. It being the season for apples, I was trying to find a good recipe for them when I came across my stack cake recipe.

A few years back I found a recipe for old fashioned stack cakes. Folklore has it when there was a pioneer wedding each family coming to the wedding brought a layer for the cake; when all the families showed up for the wedding the cake was assembled by stacking the layers with apple sauce in between each layer.

Despite what my kids may think, I wasn’t around then so I’m not 100% sure that’s the case. However, it makes sense to me that stack cakes would have been used at gatherings because food was often scarce. For a wedding I doubt one family would have been able gather all the ingredients to make the kind of wedding cake we use today, then be able to spend the time to make it when they had gardens to tend, chickens to feed, cows to milk, hay to cut not to mention the day to day ‘doings’ that keep body and soul together like cooking, laundry, home maintenance and sleep.

When I found that old recipe for stack cakes it called for six to eight round cake pans only partially filled then baked for 15 to 20 minutes. I don’t have six to eight round cake pans; I don’t have an oven that fits six to eight round cake pans and I certainly don’t have half a day for making a cake. So instead, I make a double batch of crepes for breakfast and hold back half the crepes to be made into an applesauce stack cake dessert for dinner. Works for me.

Crepe Stack Cake

Cooked Apple Sauce

4-8 apples peeled, cored and diced                ¼ to 1 cup brown sugar (optional)                            

Water as needed                                             Ground spices (optional)

Put peeled, cored and diced apples in a small crock pot or a sauce pan. Simmer until the apples fall apart adding water as needed. Mix in sugar and spices to taste. Set aside to use as filling between the layers of crepes for the stack cake.

Crepes

3 eggs                                                 ½ cup milk                ½ cup water

3 Tablespoons melted butter or oil    ¾ cup flour                 ½ tsp salt

            Mix eggs, milk and oil. Add flour and salt and beat until well blended. If the batter is left to set for a few hours or overnight it will be less lumpy; more uniform; easier to swirl in the skillet, and errant egg shells will settle on the bottom and don’t have to become part of the crepe.

            Heat a small skillet brushed with oil until a drop of water splashed in it sizzles and skittles across the bottom of the pan. (It’s important that the skillet be hot or the crepes will stick to the pan.) Then pour in just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan (about 3 Tablespoons for a six-inch skillet) Tip the pan with the handle, swirling until the batter is distributed all across the bottom of the skillet. This has to be done quickly in order to spread out the batter before it stiffens up in the heat. Cook until the top is just becoming dry, then flip the crepe and brown the other side. Oil the pan as needed so the crepes don’t stick.

To Assemble

            On a plate large enough to hold the crepes start making layers. First a crepe then a thin layer of apple sauce, repeat, repeat, repeat until the cake is as tall as you’d like, or you run out of crepes or apple sauce. Frost the top with a layer of apple sauce and cut into wedges to serve as dessert.  If whipped cream, vanilla yogurt or ice cream are available they make good toppings too.

Choices: Any fruit puree, jam, pudding or frosting will work as filling between the layers of crepes. Leftover flattened toast or pancakes can be substituted for the crepes. It’s all good.

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