Friday, April 12, 2013

Flashback Friday: Apple Kakka

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

My family's version of this traditional Scandinavian dessert is rather nontraditional.  Though apple kakka translates to apple cake, I certainly wouldn't call this a cake.  Think of it more like a layered apple crisp.

I remember eating this dessert but had never looked at the recipe itself.  My younger self was more concerned with who got more marshmallow topping than details of the recipe.  Underneath that coveted, crunchy yet gooey toasted marshmallow layer I remember layers of graham cracker crumbs and applesauce.

I was a bit surprised when I pulled the recipe card out of the old wooden recipe box.  Instead of graham crackers it called for crumbs from rusks, cookies or bread.  Rusks, as I later found out, are slices of yeast bread baked a second time until dry and crisp. The French call these biscotte, which made me think of a biscotti cookie.  Rusks, however, are more similar to toast or hard bread.

All that butter and brown sugar makes sense if you're using dried bread, but not so much if you're using graham cracker crumbs.  I cut back on both without any problems.  So, we have an apple cake that's not cake and then used different ingredients.  I told you it was a nontraditional tradition.  At least we layered the applesauce and crumbs and, more importantly, kept the marshmallow layer.

Can we just talk about those marshmallows for a minute?  They get that perfect toasty golden brown marshmallow flavor just like smores.  Unlike smores these marshmallows have an extra thick crunchy dimension before you get to the gooey, stringy center still all oozing and melted.  If you don't happen to pick off all the marshmallows on your first helping, you'll find they loose their crunch as leftovers.  You know what that means, right?  You totally have permission to swipe and extra spoonful off the top while it's fresh.

Apple Kakka
recipe adapted from my mom and grandma

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1-1/2 cups applesauce
1 cup miniature marshmallows

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter.
*In a 1-quart casserole dish (or individual serving dishes) spoon alternating layers of crumb mixture then applesauce, beginning and ending with crumb layers.  Sprinkle marshmallows on top.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until marshmallows are golden and applesauce is heated through.  Serve warm.

I almost made it all the way through without hinting how easily peanut butter could sneak in here.  

Food for Thought: "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." -Buddah 

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