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October 01, 2008

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I had a partial bottle of Amaretto that I've been storing for the last 20 yrs. so I decided to make an Amaretto cake yesterday. Hoooo doggie - is that good! I was just thinking a little Amaretto in this cake of yours might just be a good addition.

Oh, thank you! I've just received a 300 pound shipment of flour from Iowa, I believe, and the guilt has just been incredible (except I suspect that may still be better than buying from Whole Foods). In any event, I certainly don't care to do it again. Having invested in the storage facilities to keep it all fresh(ish) I'm happy to have a significantly localer (good word, eh?) source.

Reading the recipe - the milk part - made me write to put in a plug for Crescent Ridge Dairy. you must know if it already, but just in case - Located in Sharon - they have wonderful milk (not quite organic, but hormone free and all). Local - and they deliver to your door. They will even put the damn milk (and a fairly large variety of other groceries that they stock, including pasta from Capones in Somerville) right in your fridge/freezer if you give them a key. Plus- the glass bottles are really great!

Call me a heathen, but I don't have a cast iron pan, or (and this is the really sad part) access to 200 lbs of bacon to season one. Think it'd work in a regular old cake pan?

I buy King Arthur too.

I won't be the guinea pig here though since I am no baker (yet).

I do, however, have a cast iron skillet. The crap part is I never cook with it. I have this aversion to working at it - using it, treating it, taking care of it - to get it to where it needs to be as a tool. I know. I need help.

Melissa: That's normal. You have to ease into your relationship with a cast iron skillet. Start small, like with bacon on the weekends. Then move onto bacon on the weekdays. Then you can move onto other foods in which bacon is an important component. Pretty soon you'll be baking cornbread in there, and then you'll know you have a serious commitment.

Leah: It will work, I'll grudgingly admit. How well it works, though, you'll have to tell me!

monica: Yes, Crescent Ridge is great. We used them all last summer. Loved the glass bottles and the milk itself. However, I still ended up going to the grocery store the same amount, where I can also get local milk, which is why we didn't continue the service.

Alecto: I don't think there's any need to feel guilty about buying flour from the Midwest. It grows well there. But it would be nice to also grow some here, too, so that if something happens in the Midwest, we're not all screwed.

Sally: OMG, amaretto would be amazing in this cake! Why are you trying to hurt me?

Happy birthday! Is this your birthday cake?

I was totally looking for encouragement there Tammy, so thanks. ;)

This is currently baking in my oven, and my friends are waiting with enough excitement to give me performance anxiety!

The only question I have is --even overlapping slightly as in your picture, I didn't end up using very much of my four apples... Did I do right by keeping them mostly in a single layer or should I have stacked them up double-decker-like, too?

Also, there is no way I'm going to be able to flip that cast iron pan, so this is going to be very hilarious.

Jeena: I'm dying to know how it came out? You didn't drop the cast iron pan on your big toe, did you? As for the apples, I only used one layer, though you could have certainly used two. My apples were on the small side and, come to think of it, I may have only used 3.

Melissa: That's what I'm here for.

pyewacket: Thanks! No, a picture of my birthday cake is forthcoming, though.

I try to use local ingredients when I can, but I never thought about purchasing anything but produce locally, for some reason :). This cake sounds perfect, I love the maple sugar addition! We would love to feature your recipe on our blog and the first and only digital recipe reader. Please email [email protected] if you're interested. Thanks!

I had to come back here one last time to tell you - I told Steve your advice about the skillet, how you said to just continuously cook bacon in it. He said "I like Tammy. She's awesome." LOL. I don't make enough bacon, honestly. ;)

I was all set to make a different apple cake recipe (http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/moms-apple-cake/) . You said "bacon" a lot, though, so you won, hands-down. You also gave me an excuse to use my recently rehabilitated skillet. To be sure it was ready for use again, I sauteed some leftover potatoes with a little leftover bacon grease. Bacon, bacon, bacon!

My skillet is only 7", something I was glad to notice before starting, so I couldn't re-test your new proportions. Worked fine with a half-batch. I didn't have maple sugar, so I added a shot of maple syrup to the sauce.

A shiny stainless steel spatula makes it easy to see the butter brown. I can use the shiny spatula because the skillet isn't one of my namby-pamby delicate coated pans that's only allowed plastic. Nosir! This is real cookware. If I had a gas stove, my world would be complete.

Does Russo's carry maple sugar? Is it something you'd choose to eat outside of Eat Local month?

Thanks for another keeper.

Thanks for this recipe. It was super quick and easy, and turned out nice and tasty. Note: I used a combination of white sugar and grade B maple syrup instead of maple sugar, and it worked well. I made fresh whipped cream, too, and it a delicious pairing. My friends all loved it. Thanks!

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