Wednesday, January 30, 2013

beauty & terror & apple skillet cake with rosemary crumb

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"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final."

Rainer Maria Rilke

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This process, the one of growing up, it's hard. You don't know the right decisions to make - you've never done this before. Trying to create a career, or to even figure out what you want that career to be, meeting new people, becoming a full, interesting and interested person, to fill your life with good things and keep going through the beauty and terror can feel so overwhelming.

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 It's stopped me in my tracks for a while. The little fears, ones that go something like this: "what if people don't like what I do anymore?" "what if this blog post isn't as good as the last?" "what if they don't like what I have to say?", they started getting to me. I forgot that those feelings weren't final. I dealt with them as I'm apt to do - I ignored them and stopped moving.

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I came across the quote above from Rilke the other day; I had read it before, but this time it took my breath away. Let it happen. But keep going.

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I wasn't letting it happen, I was pushing it away. I was trying to pretend it didn't exist and also letting those feeling be final. But I realized you have to live these things out, the beauty and the confusion, to change and grow. You have to keep moving. I'm working on that.

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Apple Skillet Cake with Rosemary Crumb
Apples and rosemary are often paired together with pork, but they work really well in sweet dishes, too. This cake is so simple and tasty, the earthiness of the rosemary really makes it.

For rosemary crumb:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary
1-2 tablespoon water

For Cake:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup salted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup apple, diced

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch cast iron skillet.

To prepare crumb topping: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, butter and rosemary in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine on low speed, until it becomes the texture of coarse crumbs, add in water and mix until crumb comes together. Set aside.

To prepare cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together, on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Fold in the apples.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle crumb on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden and firm to the touch.