Eventually the tradition was adopted by Germans, and they used a creature to predict the weather, the hedgehog. If the day was sunny and the hedgehog saw his shadow, people expected more winter weather; conditions were stormy and the hedgehog didn't see its shadow, spring was near. When the Germans began to immigrate to Pennsylvania, in the 1800s, the hedgehog was not a native of the land, but the groundhog was. The tradition remained, just the fortune teller changed.
Now while the 2020 prediction, from the groundhogs, is spring will come sooner this year; they have made a huge oops in many areas of the country. Around 11am this morning, snow began to fall in Monticello, Utah; Dove Creek, Colorado and upper Utah showed photos and videos of their extreme snowfall. Calendar wise, spring is about six weeks away; weather wise, winter will let go when it decides to, not when a groundhog says to.
Typically a fall harvest fruit, the apple, has become available for public consumption via supermarkets, local markets and farmers markets. On a cold, windy, harsh winter day, wouldn't it be lovely to have a delicious slice of German Apple Cake along with a hot cup of tea or hot cocoa!?!
I found this recipe on another food blog, Plated Cravings, and found it to be easier than many other recipes online. I also like how the cake looks, with pretty apple slices nestled into moist cake.
So I will simply share that recipe here, giving credit to that food blog, of course. In addition will be photos of how it went along, with a very tasty finale. By the way, I made a double batch of this cake as I enjoy sharing.
German Apple Cake
(Plated Cravings: German Apple Cake )
4 small apples
1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour (see instructions above)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform or use parchment paper.
Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and beat for 30 seconds on high speed after each addition.
Add vanilla sugar (or extract), salt, and lemon juice. Beat until combined.
Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed add half of the flour, then 1 tbsp milk, followed by the remaining flour, and then the remaining milk. Beat until just combined. Don't overmix!
Transfer batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Distribute the apples with the sliced side up on top.
Bake in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes, until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and remove the springform ring. Let cake cool on the bottom of the springform pan to room temperature.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cooled cake and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Reminder, apples are available all year long, so don't wait for a particular season. Simply bake and enjoy!