When the first wave of cool winds blows, I am ready to start my fall baking. I must have my staples on hand: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, bags of nuts, and delicious fall fruits for additional opportunities to be creative.
My latest concoction was a fruit cobbler that I literally threw together to use fruit that was ripening too fast. It is hard for me to discard wonderful fruits and veggies, so I always try to come up with something that will work.
This particular day, I had 10 apples, 6 peaches, and about 1cup of fresh cherries getting past the “eating stage,” and I simply peeled and cut up the apples and peaches, removed the cherry seeds, and then dumped it all into a mixing bowl. I added 1 cup of sugar, 1½ teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 cup of milk, and ¼ cup of butter cut into chunks. I put the fruit mixture into my glass casserole dish. For the grand finale, I mixed up a batter with Bisquick and milk until it resembled pudding (approximately 1½ cups Bisquick and ¾ cups milk). I poured the batter over the fruit and baked it for about 45 minutes until the crust was golden brown. It turned out beautifully, and with peach season ending, I will substitute them for pears next time.
Now for those of you who love to experiment in the kitchen, my improvised recipe will make total sense. However, if you are one that loves to work with tried and true recipes, I will recommend Taste of the South’s newest special edition: Fall Baking. There you will find a delectable recipe for Double Apple-Cranberry Pie, as well as autumn favorites such as Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes, Pecan Upside Down Cake, and Pear-Cranberry Cake. The culinary experts in our test kitchens make each dish several times as they create new recipes for you, and the aromatic spices of fall are used abundantly is these recipes.
One of the first dishes I am going to make from the issue is the Upside Down Pear-Gingerbread Cake. It’s a recipe I’m going to follow carefully so that mine will be as delicious as the one cooked in our test kitchens, and I’m excited to share it with you!
- ½ cup plus 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup unsulfured molasses
- ½ cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons water; cook 1 minute more. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange pears over sugar mixture in pan.
- In a large bowl, beat remaining 1/3 cup butter, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, and egg at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. In another medium bowl, whisk together molasses and ½ cup boiling water until combined.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until well combined. Spoon batter over pears.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen; carefully invert cake onto a flat serving plate.
What do you love to bake in the fall?
I bought the magazine Fall Baking, but a few of the recipes were printed in white ink on dark paper and I can’t see them. I’m now 70, not 30, and with age comes poor vision, even with glasses. I would apprecidate you printing them on white paper with black ink so I don’t have to come here and print them off.
I love your idea, Phyllis! My aunt Marmie uses Bisquick for baking cobbler, and I do too! My favorite cobbler is blueberry but with fall just around the corner, I’ll use apples and pears.
Dear Phyllis, My Mother who is 99 years of age is in hospice and while visiting her 8-10 hours everyday we reminisce my growing up years with her. We speak of her great blackberry cobbles often.
Your message came at a most heartfelt time, I’m going to make her your cobbler receipt and she used Bisquick too. Your timing is God sent to me during these precious days with her. God Bless you and Hoffman Publishing. Carmel
Your pear cake recipe looks delicious, so I want to try it soon. I agree with you about how much fun it is to cook without a recipe. A recipe is just instructions for something someone else found delicious, not holy writ. I frequently mix leftovers from dining out with vegetables I want to use at home and often get surprisingly nice results. Yes, out with the Autumn spices, on with the baking. All hot teas are such good accompaniments to fruit and cake-like treasures. Thank you and others for sharing recipes and family stories.
Phyllis I love your ingenuity! That is the sign of a true baker… That recipe looks delish! My Mom became a baker later in her life and she was constantly applauded for everything that she baked…. I find myself having desires to especially bake in the fall, with all the cinnamon, brown sugar and butter with their wonderful aromas.
Nothing like a good apple pie or butter cookies with walnut, pecans or whatever your heart desires… Happy fall everyone!
Cannot wait to try this and I’m still making fruit cobblers!!!! I’m about to attend my 48th family reunion and may have to take this along with my requested cobbler. My family is a gathering of wonderful cooks…..women and girls, boys and men of the family all love food and most who have Wolfe blood cook or preserve or both. My sister’s family is in charge of arrangements for this year and she has a chef among the group and her son is a good cook too. Of course, many of those who have joined us in marriage have specialty items that they love to bring too. My oldest sister, now deceased, had three boys but they all learned a few things from their mother. Somehow, our crew just threw themselves into all jobs…..no matter what sex they seemed allocated to and we all worked together. Some of our favorite times to share and be together were always in the kitchen. The joys of having an indulgent Mother and Grandmother who had the patience to allow us in.
I’m eternally grateful. I’ll try this recipe at the first opportunity. Thank you so much, Ruth Wolfe Johnson
Hard to find good recipes for baking with pears…this one sounds absolutely delicious. Will definitely be making this…thank you Phyllis. I also love baked goods with Italian plums in them…I usually make a coffee cake or muffins. Happy baking everyone!
this I have to make, it looks so delicious…i was wondering where you purchased the round wooden plate that it is sitting on…very nice presentation..thanks for the help
My husband loves dessert and pears, in that order! This looks wonderful! Can’t wait to make it.
With fall moving in faster and faster the fall fruit, is here quicker then I’m ready for. I just made a double batch of a spicy pear butter, that I’m usually making towards the end of September, not the middle of August. With the left over pears that I have this looks delicious.
Your “recipe” sounds delicious, Phyllis, and now that I have discovered Bisquick has a gluten free mix( I’m severely allergic to wheat) I can’t wait to try it. I am anxious for fall to begin, the aroma of cinnamon and cloves wafting through my kitchen is one of the things I love about the fall months. Thank you for sharing these two recipes.