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Friday, December 2, 2011

Lemon Apple Cake - 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #26 Ruth Rogers & Rose Gray

the "Gourmet" prompt...
26. Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray- You could barely eat out in London before these two opened the River Café in 1987. But soon, graduates of their market–fresh, real–Italian, open–kitchen place on the Thames had populated all the U.K.’s restaurant kitchens and most of the country’s food channels. And it was good.

I almost can't believe that I hadn't heard of either of these ladies before now.  Aside from their seven (that I've seen...correct me if this amount is wrong) cookbooks, they founded the River Café of London in the late 80's.  This open-plan kitchen featured Italian cooking and wine with a menu that was reviewed twice a day to reflect fresh market ingredients.  They also had a television show called The Italian Kitchen.    Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, & April Bloomfield all apprenticed in their kitchen.  Gray succumed to cancer at the age of 71 on February 28 of 2010.
Lemon Apple Cake

finely grated zest of 2 lemons
4 apples, peeled, cored, & finely sliced
1 c. blanched almonds
4 oz. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. vanilla sugar*
2 eggs, at room temperature
2/3  c. milk
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 10" springform pan with a bit of extra butter.  Grind the almonds to a fine flour in the food processor.   

Beat the vanilla sugar and the eggs together until thick and light.  Slowly add the milk and melted butter.  fold the almond flour into the all-purpose flour, then stir into the batter along with the baking powder.  Add the baking powder, lemon zest, and about 3/4 of the apples.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Scatter the remaining apple over the top and then sprinkle with 1 Tbs. sugar.  Bake in preheated oven for ~1 hour.  Remove from pan when cool.  I dusted it with powdered sugar before serving.

*If you don't have vanilla sugar on hand, then split one vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds; mix with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar.
In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?