1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
HEAT oven to 350°. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
COMBINE the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and whisk until well mixed and a little crumbly. Place 3/4 cup of the mixture in a smaller bowl and add the pecans.
ADD the baking powder, baking soda, egg and buttermilk to the remaining flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir together quickly, but don't over mix. (You may have a few lumps, which is fine.)
SPREAD the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the reserved pecan mixture evenly over the batter.
BAKE for about 40 minutes, until brown and the edges are coming away from the pan a little.
BEAT the butter, strawberry preserves and confectioners sugar until the mixture looks like pink frosting.
STIR in the chopped pecans. Keeps refrigerated for up to 1 week.
SERVE warm or at room temperature with the butter.
Nutrition information: Per serving (cake only): 382 calories (49 percent from fat), 4 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 21 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 18 milligrams cholesterol, 267 milligrams sodium.
Strawberry-Pecan Butter (per 1 tablespoon serving): 119 calories (percent of calories from fat, 69), trace protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 9 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 21 milligrams cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium.
Apples add a layer of elegance. Pecan halves give crunch. And a drizzle of sweet sugary icing makes this cinnamon-scented fall coffeecake truly transcendent. Serves 12. Prep time: 25 minutes. Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
For the coffeecake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sour cream
1 large apple
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping:
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup raisins
For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
HEAT oven to 350°. Grease a 9- or 10-inch spring-form cake pan with butter. (You may also use a 9-inch square or 13- by 9-inch pan.)
To make the cake:
CREAM sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the 2 cups of flour alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing well after each addition. Spread batter in greased pan.
CORE the apple (no need to peel) and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place in medium bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss well to coat, and place apple slices in a circle around the top of the batter.
To make the topping:
PULSE flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food-processor bowl until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Dump into a bowl, and stir in the pecan halves and raisins so that they are coated with the brown-sugar mixture. Sprinkle topping evenly on cake.
BAKE for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
To make the icing:
MIX confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl.
REMOVE the side of the spring-form pan when the cake is cool, and place cake on a plate or stand. Drizzle with icing. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 482 calories (47 percent from fat), 5 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 26 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 295 milligrams sodium.