Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pine Nuts

We are all in full fall swing, I am cleaning up the yard and putting up the last of the produce from the garden.  Dave is out at moose camp getting (hopefully) some meat for the freezer.  Even the animals around here are getting ready.  The geese and cranes are gone, I'm checking the foundation of the house for any vole entry holes, and the squirrels are storing pine cones like crazy.

The Chick works on a military base right on the outskirts of Fairbanks.  She has to drive through the gate every morning to get to her office.  Once in a while she gets pulled over for a random vehicle check and has to open all the parts of the car that open; glove box, built in storage, hood, trunk.

The other day she was the right number in a row and got pulled over for the random check.  She opened everything and stepped to the side.  The gate guard opened the hood and started to laugh.  The Chick walked over to check to see what was so funny, and this is what they found...

Some poor squirrel has been working hard storing all these pinecones for winter, and The Chick had the nerve to find them, move them, and start parking away from that tree at work.  This poor little squirrel will be hungry this winter.  I think The Chick should buy nuts for the poor little squirrel and set up a squirrel feeder in that tree.

In the meantime, I made this cake.  We all sat down to a warm piece of this delicious cake, The Chick retold the story, we were thankful those dry pinecones didn't get hot and catch on fire, and we had another good laugh.

Happy Fall.

Italian Pine Nut and Apricot Cake
adapted from A Healthy Life for Me blog

1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 stick butter, melted (12 tablespoons)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (about 15 whole)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 9" cake pan with baking spray, or butter and dust with flour.

Place almonds and 1/4 cup of pine nuts, separated, on a baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes until nuts are toasted.

Place un-toasted pine nuts in a good processor and grind until a coarse meal forms.

In a large bowl, combine ground pine nuts, almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt.

Melt butter.  In a medium bowl combine melted butter and sugar, then add almond milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Add chopped apricots and stir until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan and top with almond slices and the toasted pine nuts.

Bake 50-55 minutes until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool at least 30 minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

1 year ago:   MRI and Moon Pie Mug Cake
2 years ago:  Baked Oatmeal
3 years ago:  End of the Garden
4 years ago:  Muffin Monday and Banana Crunch Muffins

September 6, 2016  Sunrise 6:48 am  Sunset 8:48 pm  Temp H 46/ L 36˚F

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