Old Fashioned Stack Cake
Apple Stack Cake has roots in the southern Appalachian mountains and this recipe combines that with sweet sorghum. Made with a filling of dried apples and batter stacked in six to eight layers, it's one of the earliest desserts of the region. The original applesauce filling was generally made from dried apples.
Quick Facts on Sorghum: Sorghum syrup is a natural sweetener made by processing juice squeezed from the talks of certain types of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) called sweet sorghum or sorgo. Sweet sorghum is grown for syrup or forage, whereas most other sorghums, commonly referred to as milos or kafirs, are grown for grain. Sweet sorghums resemble grain sorghum at maturity except that they are about three times taller, reaching a height of 12 feet or more. Specialized milling equipment is necessary to extract the juice, and evaporative pans with heating units are used to steam off excess water, leaving syrup. It takes about 8 gallons of juice to make 1 gallon of syrup.The correct label for sorghum syrup is “sorghum syrup” or “pure sorghum.” Molasses, unsulphured molasses, cane molasses, and cane syrup are byproducts of sugarcane processing and sugar.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening or butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sorghum
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups dried apples
1/2 tsp each of ginger, cloves and allspice
Sift and mix all dry ingredients,
Cream together shortening, sugar, and sorghum.
Add eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Put batter, 3/4 inch thick, into 6 greased and floured pans (9-inch). Batter will be thick, may need to pat even with floured hand. Bake at 350° F. Won't take long. Cool.
Cook apples in enough water to cover; watch closely that they don't burn; they should be quite thick when done. Add sugar, if desired, and spices. Cool.
Spread between layers and on top of cake. Cover, let stand several hours or overnight.
Note from Maw-Maw:
Apple filling can be fresh green apples but dried apples are much better, sweetening the apples to taste after cooking and drying. If fresh apples are used it is best to thicken a little with cornstarch. Best to use allspice to flavor the apples.