The Taste of a Memory

maine windjammer cooking, windjammer recipes, maine schooner cookingGood morning everyone. Apple Topped Gingerbread Cake with Maple Cream is a seasonal favorite that Jen found somewhere along the path of life. It is our family’s taste of the holiday season. It certainly warms our hearts as much as it does our tummies and is rich with memories of holidays past. With the winter solstice upon us this cake also forms a bridge between the seasons from autumn to spring with its appealing combination of fall apples and spring maple syrup. The apples keep this cake moist. As to what type of apple to use…well, that is a debate for the ages. Jen prefers a Macintosh but admits that apples are such a personal preference that she just as soon steer clear of telling anyone which variety to use for this particular recipe. I prefer a sweet-tart variety like a Northern Spy or, believe it or not, a Macoun which is usually reserved as a hand-apple. Maybe a pippin? Depending on where you live local varieties will dictate what is freshest. I steer away from the sweetness of the Delicious varieties. This is just my personal preference so for you highly opinionated apple afficianados out there…..relax.

Here is the recipe which is best cooked in a glass pan:

Apple top:

  • 4T butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 apples peeled & sliced

Melt butter, add sugar and spread in bottom of 8×9 pan. Arrange apples on top.


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Mix all together. Pour on top of apple mixture. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350′. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and serve topped with maple cream. Best served warm!

Maple cream is very easy. Mix 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup of maple syrup. As Jen would tell you, the maple cream is divine and so simple you might be tempted to skip it. But don’t do that! Don’t worry about calories. The maple syrup balances out any calories that might be found in the whipped cream.

Have a great solstice and enjoy this holiday recipe. Let us know how it comes out and give us your opinion on your favorite variety of apple. Be well. Do good.



  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing, Jen and Barry. Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to you all. Reading your blog entries take me back to our wonderful sails with you in years past. May the winds be at your back in 2014.

  2. As any of my friends will tell you, Susie Homemaker I am not. However, the beautiful simplicity of this recipe inspired me to give it a shot (plus it looked so darn good in the picture!). I used Honey Crisp apples (just becasue they are my fav) and lo and behold, my rendition of this was actually edible! I brought it to work for our Christmas party luncheon and not a crumb was left on the plate.

  3. To Barry and Jen:
    This my be redundant, as I lost track of this message before I finished it(new computer, old operator), but what I want to say is worth repeating.
    I’ve been on several Mary Day cruises and each one has been even better than the one before. It’s because of what you have created out of a marvelous vessel out of your dream and your personal contribution to all of us lucky passengers. Several things have made it such a marvelous experience: the fresh look at a marvelous countryside, the friendly crew every time and your interest in each one of us. You make everyone feel a part of the group. A good part of why it works so well is the way you both train and handle the crew – somehow they do what you want with no loud commands or criticism, and do it well. Wish you were running the Washington mess !
    I’m sorry to say that my Mary Day trips are over – certain physical events have made it impossible. But I have your blogs, Maynard Bray’s work at Off Center Harbor, and many photos (though not of your level of skill) keep it all alive.
    Thank you

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