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?