Karen’s Drunken Apple Cake was inspired by a family recipe.

As you can see, I really did fall into fall. And if that doesn’t take the cake, to top it all off I fell onto my dominant hand. However, this fall is nothing like my falls of days past. Falling into piles of leaves. Falling playing tackle football at pick up coed games with my high school friends. Falling into cold Portage Lake water while loading and launching pontoon boats for my dad at his boat marina. And even falling out of a golf cart and doing a complete somersault in the fairway on Pinehurst No. 2 golf course … I guess I do fall a lot. But it was easier when I was younger … And this fall? This fall I was walking from the kitchen to the living room and caught my foot on the leg of an end table and took a fall that was more like an Olympic dive … So, this column will be short and sweet as I have to complete it before I fall asleep taking pain meds!

What is your go to fall dish? When I think of fall dishes I think of apples. “Please Join Our Table” as we fall into a barrel of delicious apple recipes.

Karen’s Drunken Apple Cake

I was inspired to adjust (very slightly) our cousin Diane Luther’s apple cake. Diane served her cake in 1970 at the Boughton Farm family reunion. Her version did not have any booze in it!


1 3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil, not canola

2 1/4 cups APF flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans.)

1 cup currants or sun-dried cranberries

1/4 cup rum, light or dark, your choice

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. *Butter and flour a 9 x11 pan. In a small bowl, combine currants and rum, set aside. In a large bowl beat sugar and eggs until well mixed. Add oil and beat until creamy. In a medium bowl, sift flour with baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add flour mixture to liquid mixture. Fold in nuts, apples and rum soaked currants or dried cranberries. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve.

* If using a 9-inch tube/Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before flipping it onto a platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve at room temperature with vanilla or raisin rum ice cream and/or whipped cream, if desired.

Apple Pie Baked in a Bag

You’ve heard of baking a chicken in a bag … well here is a unique recipe for baking an apple pie in a bag. Give it a try!

INGREDIENTS (CRUST … or use a Pillsbury pre made crust)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces

1/3 cup ice water


5 tart apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash of cardamom

1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


Must use equipment: 9-inch aluminum pie pan, 1 medium-sized brown paper bag. Make the crust: In a food processor or using a pastry cutter, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized pieces appear. Add the water and pulse briefly - it will still look crumbly. Place the crumbs on 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll it into 2 disks. Wrap the discs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out 1 disk to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Keep rolling until the circle is at least 2 inches larger than your pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, letting the edge hang over a bit. Roll the second disk, place it on a sheet pan and chill it until you're ready to make your pie. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, cardamom and nutmeg together. Transfer to the pie shell and dot with the butter. Brush the overhanging edges of the dough with water. Carefully cover with the rolled-out top crust and pinch the edges together, turning them under all around to make a thick edge. Seal the rim, press it all around with the back of a fork, or just pinch it to seal. Cut a few vents in the center of the pie crust. Top with an egg wash and sugar. Slide the pie into the brown paper bag, and fold the top down. Staple bag shut and place it in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the pie from the oven and cut a large circle in top of the bag. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let the pie cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Pie Spice Mix

I love to add this to my coffee, morning yogurt or even on top of ice cream!


3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoons ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if available)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1/2-teaspoon ground cardamom

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl stir together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom until well combined. Makes 1/4 cup. Store in an airtight container up to three months.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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