In my latest newspaper column I wrote about our recent applesauce-making day. What follows is a photo story of that saucy party.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

This cake is quite spicy. The ginger flavor is much more pronounced in
this cake—both ground and fresh!—than in the cake I grew up eating. For a gentler cake, omit the fresh ginger.

3/4 cup strong, dark beer such as Guinness
½ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup flavorless oil such as canola
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, optional
1½ cups flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon each, baking powder and salt
1/4 teaspoon each, cinnamon and black pepper

Bring the beer to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and
stir in the baking soda. Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the
molasses and sugars. Add the eggs, oil, and fresh ginger.

In another bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt,
cinnamon, and black pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three
parts, whisking until smooth after each addition.

Pour the batter into a greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for
35-45 minutes. Serve with fresh applesauce or a dollop of whipped cream.

This same time, years previous: dam good blackberry pie, dimply plum cake, caramelized cherry tomatoes, down in the peach pits


  • Roanna

    Looks great! I loved applesauce making with my family growing up- and I've hosted multiple applesauce parties with friends since I've been out on my own. I do love the outdoor cookstove… I'll have to keep that in mind. I also like the board through the 5 gallon bucket- it looks handy as a cutting surface for those who like to have their knife land on something other than a thumb 🙂

  • Becky

    That is quite a production line. Suddenly my dealing with a bushel at a time in my crock pot seems rather small batch. I like the set up too. I keep babbling about how I'd love to have an outdoor set up and maybe that's what I need to can during the summer.

  • Margo

    Jennifer, that is the COOLEST set-up ever! My husband wants details on the outside burners, please. Did you buy that thing or is it rigged up?
    I'm so impressed by your output and that recipe looks fab-o.
    (If you email me independent of this comment, just notice that I've switched my email to gmail)

    • Jennifer Jo

      The outdoor cookstove came from Lehman's: It was a present from my mother-in-law. We use if for the donut part, canning, boiling corn, etc. It has a stainless steel skillet thing that stretches across both burners, too. We've used that for large pancake, eggs, and bacon breakfasts.

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