Posts by tag: Labor Day

  • Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Posted on September 12, 2016
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During the Summer months, I pretty much leave my oven dial set squarely in the “OFF” position. I occasionally break the rules to bake up a batch of perfectly moist muffins. Or if there is some emotional crisis that calls for chocolate therapy, then a pan of fudgy brownies is a fair trade for a little brow sweat. But other than that, it’s kind of not worth the risk of turning my kitchen into Satan’s den.

Which is why I was starting to get just a teeny tiny bit excited about Fall baking. I even had big plans for this past weekend: blondies, sticky buns and cookies were all on the menu. But then it ended up being crazy hot and humid here. So my oven dial stayed put. Which is kind of a shame. But probably better for my waistline in the long run, if I’m being completely honest with myself.

However, I did manage to sneak in this Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake last week when we had a cooler day. And I’m super excited to share the recipe with you guys today.

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake | www.floatingkitchen.net

I find that pears are so underused in the Fall. Everyone is in some kind of pumpkin-induced delirium. Which causes pears (and even apples) to get overlooked. So I always try to give them a little bit of loving when I get the chance. These pear and ginger scones and this sweet potato and pear soup are two of my personal favorites from last year, if you’re at all interested.

This cake is the perfect way to highlight seasonal pears and blackberries. And it feels kind of like a transitional cake. Not too heavy, not too light. With notes of both Summer and Fall flavors. You could serve this cake for brunch. Or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. I don’t think you can really go wrong here. I definitely had a slice or two for breakfast!

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake | www.floatingkitchen.net

Make sure to buy pears that are ripe, but still firm. If they are overly ripe, they will release a lot of juice and the cake directly underneath the pears will turn out a bit on the gummy side. And that’s no bueno.

I’m sharing my Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake as part of our monthly #eatseasonal round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. Check out Becky’s September produce guide for the low down on what’s in season this month (there is A LOT!). And see what some of my blogging friends made this month to celebrate September’s bounty of fruits and vegetables. The links are below!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from my Rhubarb-Almond Cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 pears, peeled, halved and cored (make sure they are ripe but still firm)
  • 3/4 cups blackberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar for serving, if desired

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper. Then generously coat the parchment paper and the sides of the springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup of the sugar and the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Then beat in the yogurt, lemon zest and the extracts.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the cake batter, adding in about one-third at a time, mixing on low speed until no more white streaks remain.
  4. Spread the cake batter into your prepared springform pan, making sure the top is even. The batter will be thick and a bit tacky. Arrange the pears, cut side up, on top of the batter, pressing them down slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the pears with the remaining 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon. Top with the blackberries and sliced almonds.
  5. Transfer the cake to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake form the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, run a knife around the outer edge of the cake and release the sides of the springform pan. Cut the cake into slices and serve with a dusting of powder sugar, if desired.
  6. The cake is best served the day it’s made, but it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/pear-and-blackberry-almond-cake/

September Eat Seasonal Recipes

September Eat Seasonal Recipes | www.floatingkitchen.net
Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice Bowls by Kitchen Confidante

Homemade Pumpkin Pasta by Bless this Mess

Melon and Raspberry Soda Float by Letty’s Kitchen

Ratatouille Lasagna by Flavor the Moments

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Carrots and Radishes by Vintage Mixer

Harvest Tortilla Soup by Simple Bites

Peach Muffins with Pecan Streusel by Cafe Johnsonia

Pear and Fig Tarts with Goat Cheese and Honey by Food for My Family

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread by Foodie Crush

  • Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad

Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad

Posted on September 9, 2016

I feel like everyone around me is being so organized lately. The back-to-school routines have set in. And the carefree, lazy days of Summer are starting to fade away.

But I just can’t seem to get my act together. Hence why I haven’t managed to get a blog post up here in over a week. I don’t know what is wrong with me these past couple of days. Maybe I’m protesting the start of a new season.

I think I say this every year, but it’s worth repeating: I actually totally love Fall. In fact, I might even like it as much (if not more!) than Summer. I know it doesn’t seem that way, because I’m very vocal in my pumpkin-shaming. But I just want to enjoy Fall when it’s ACTUALLY FALL. Does that make sense?

Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

This Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad is my attempt at sliding one foot into Fall, while still keeping the other foot firmly planted in Summer. It’s still very hot and humid here, so my grill is going to continue to be used a lot over these next several weeks. And I find myself still craving light dishes that won’t weigh me down. But local apples are popping up everywhere, and I plan to take full advantage of them.

This is a great side dish for Fall, or if you’re like me, it can totally swing it as a main dish as well. In fact, I think I should rename this recipe “how to consume an entire pound of green beans in one sitting”. Because that is exactly what I did. Everything about this recipe is highly addicting. From the maple syrup-sweetened dressing to the slightly smoky green beans and apples, I guarantee you’ll have a hard time stopping yourself from stealing nibbles straight from the pan.

Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

Because I’m some combination of cheap and stubborn, I don’t own a grill basket. Which means I toss all my grill-ables straight onto the grates. This totally works. But unless you have some high level of dexterity, you’ll probably loose a few green beans through the grates. Not a big deal, in my humble opinion. But if you have a grill basket, this would be a great time to bust it out.

Cheers,

Liz

Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Grilled Green Bean and Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Salad
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 2 apples, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high.
  3. In a 9 X 13-inch baking pan, toss together the green beans, apple wedges, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until everything is well coated. Add the green beans and apple wedges to your grill and cook until they have started to blackened in a few places, about 3-5 minutes. I place everything directly on the grill grates, but if you have a grill basket that would be helpful at preventing the green beans from slipping through the grates! Remove the green beans and apple wedges from the grill and place them back in the baking pan. While they are still warm, drizzle with the dressing. Then add the sliced radishes, scallions and almonds, tossing gently to combine. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 1-2 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/grilled-green-bean-and-apple-salad/

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