Recently I managed to convince my father to let me borrow my late mother’s prized collection of recipes for a while.
She collected recipes from all over the place: cards from the grocery store, articles clipped from newspapers and magazines, snagged from other people’s collections. Some that she’d seen and scribbled down while watching a program on television. Others were her own recipes, written down and organized by holiday, which was very helpful when she wasn’t around to cook anymore.
Pouring through mum’s treasure box of recipes resulted in hours of pleasant memories, reading the recipes that she had either tried – or more often – had wanted to try. I too, accumulate recipes at an incredible rate (far more than I’ll ever have time to make), so this apple didn’t fall far from her tree.
These recipes reminded me of all the time we spent together in the kitchen, reading food magazines and cookbooks, planning what recipes we’d like to try or talking and laughing about some of the food we’d made and how it had turned out. But most the cherished part of that time together: her teaching me to cook. I learned so much about cooking (and other stuff too) from her.
So here it is, Mother’s Day: a fine day to think back on those good times in the kitchen. This is a recipe from her collection that we made quite often because it is so good.
Let’s get busy! Brunch is only a few hours away.
Grab the sausages.
Cook the sausages. Drain but retain the ‘drippings’ (drippings = sausage grease = deliciousness).
Arrange them in a pinwheel configuration in your baking dish. I used a springform tin.
Now start on the apple portion of the recipe. Peel, core and slice these.
Then get the syrup started. Get the maple syrup into a saucepan.
Add the water to the maple syrup.
Then add the cinnamon.
Grate the nutmeg into the syrup mixture.
Turn up the heat and combine.
Add the apples to the syrup.
Cook the apples for a couple of minutes.
Layer the apples on top of the sausages. Do not throw way the syrup!
And now… the final layer.
Cornmeal, flour and baking powder.
Get the sugar in there too.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add some of the reserved sausage ‘drippings’ to the milk and egg.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry.
Mix the batter and spoon over the apples. Smooth the top.
Inverted onto a serving plate.
While the cake is cooking, reheat the reserved syrup and pour over servings of the Sausage-Apple Brunch Cake.
Sausage-Apple Brunch Cake
500 g pork sausage links
125 g maple syrup
2 mL cinnamon
1 mL nutmeg
3 apples, peeled, cored, sliced into eighths
250 mL flour
300 mL corn meal
30 mL sugar
15 mL baking powder
5 mL salt
250 mL milk
Fry sausage until browned on all sides. Skim off drippings and reserve. In bottom of 20 cm baking pan, arrange sausage in a pinwheel. In a saucepan, combine syrup, 125 mL water, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Drop apple slices into simmering syrup and cook 2 minutes. Remove apple slices and arrange between sausages.
Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Beat together egg and 45 mL reserved sausage drippings and milk. Pour into dry ingredients and mix quickly. Spoon batter on sausage and apples. Bake at 400°F until golden brown (20 – 25 minutes). Invert on serving platter. Warm reserved syrup and pour over apples. Serve warm.