When it comes to autumn baking, there are a few star players in my kitchen. Pumpkin is a favorite, closely followed by cranberries but right on their heels are pears. There’s something about the freshness of pears in baked goods that I just can’t get enough of. When I came across a pear cake with buttermilk glaze from Kitchen Trial and Error, I was immediately drawn to it. This cake had all the flavors of fall baked in. I knew I had all the ingredients on hand, including fresh pears because I always have pears. So imagine my horror when I was all prepared to make pear bread only to find that *gasp!* I had no pears. I could only speculate that Maddy had eaten the last one and I hadn’t realized.
Fortunately I had apples so I turned on my heels and formulated a new plan. Apples and cinnamon are like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly. They just go together so substituting apples for pears was easy as pie, er… a piece of cake… well, you get it. It works! So having apples saved this month’s Secret Recipe Club project thankfully. This bread is meant to have a vanilla buttermilk glaze however, as you may have noticed there isn’t a glaze pictured. I did not have buttermilk on hand so it wasn’t going to happen but it sounds so good that I’ve included it below. Things have been a little insane here in New Jersey and going to the grocery store is definitely not something I want to do unless I’m in dire need. People are acting nuts and I don’t want to be a part of it.
There are police at the gas stations to wrangle people who are cutting in lines and getting violet. The lines of both cars and people on foot are literally miles long. Miles! This isn’t even an exaggeration. I wish it were. I’ve heard several people talk about running out of gas while waiting while others wait for hours only to be turned away when they get to the front of the line because the station has run out of gas. Gas is now being rationed.The insanity is only continuing in stores. So few places are open that people are literally fighting to get things. I haven’t left my house except to go to work. Prior to the storm I filled up my gas tank, stocked up on ample amounts of food that would stay fresh thanks to our generator, and got anything I might need to be self-sufficient for a week or more. I’m conserving everything I have trying to make it last until life gets back to something that looks like normal again. I just don’t want to be out there at all if I don’t have to be. My house is my bubble and I just want to stay in the bubble, blocking out the outside world.
Kate, author of Kitchen Trial and Error is on the East coast as well. As I perused her blog in search of what I’d like to make this month she certainly didn’t make it easy for me. I was really loving these Hot Chocolate Cookies as well as her homemade Graham Crackers (both honey and cinnamon!) I’ve always wanted to make graham crackers from scratch. Bookmarked those for future use. But if I had had the ingredients on hand, I would have absolutely, hands down made Nanaimo Bars. I have no clue what a Nanaimo bar is but I can tell you, it looks AMAZING! Kate says “almond + coconut + chocolate + sweet vanilla filling make the perfect homemade candy bar” and by the looks of it, I whole heartedly agree. Also bookmarked. I was thrilled to be introduced to Kitchen Trial and Error this month for Secret Recipe Club and I know I’ll be back for seconds, and thirds, fourths… you get it.
One Year Ago: Pear & Gruyere Strata
Moist apple bread kissed with cinnamon and nutmeg topped with a buttermilk glaze.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups freshly grated ripe apples
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease your pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Fold in the apples and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently stir just until combined.
- Divide evenly between loaf pans.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.
- Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, cornstarch and baking soda in a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Bring to a boil and cook about 1 minute, or until thick. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour over cooled cakes.
Slightly adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error