Hi Friends! Happy Monday! I’ve got an awesome Fall-themed celebratory cocktail recipe to share with you all today. It wasn’t the recipe that I had originally planned to post. In fact, I had something much more sensible in the queue (a vegan potato salad). But then I decided to say “the heck with it” and went with the giggle juice instead. I figured we’d all be happier if I did. Am I right?
Life lesson 127: cocktails always trump potato salads.
We haven’t even officially entered Fall yet, but I’m already getting to work on my Fall bucket list. Which always includes at least two obligatory trips to a local apple orchard for apple picking. It’s a quintessential New England activity that always puts a smile on my face. And did I mention that there are fresh donuts involved? Well, there are. That alone is reason enough to head out to the farms. Especially since they are apparently calorie free! Who knew?!?!
Oh and the fresh pressed apple cider (or “liquid gold”, as I like to call it) is to die for as well. It’s my favorite Fall beverage. And it just so happens to go exceedingly well with some of my go-to brown liquors, like bourbon and amaretto. I buy it by the gallons (I’m talking about the apple cider here, not the brown liquors) and then proceed to complain when it doesn’t all fit in my refrigerator. First world problems.
So true to form, I picked up some fresh apple cider from Cider Hill Farm last week and got straight to work on creating the recipe for these Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges. The drink part itself is very straightforward. There are no hard-to-find ingredients required or fussy techniques. In fact, all you really have to do is shake, pour and sip!
Given the relative ease of the drink portion of this cocktail, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to make up some brûléed orange slices for garnish, an idea that I saw in the New York Times cooking section a while back and have been wanting to re-create since then. They really only take an extra 5 minutes of work to prepare. And I think they add a fabulous touch to this cocktail, both with respect to taste and presentation.
Pro tip: look for oranges that are just slightly smaller in diameter than your glasses for maximum visual impact.
So what are some of your favorite Fall sippers (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)? And any other local apple orchards that I need to visit this season? Tell me!
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.
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!
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!
Recipe adapted from my Rhubarb-Almond Cake
September Eat Seasonal Recipes
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