Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple-pear cobbler with an oatmeal muffin on top—that's the idea of this great dessert

Baked apples and baked pears—doesn’t that sound as though it would be a divine combination in a cobbler? Then top it with a crust that tastes like a warm oatmeal muffin—how absolutely scrumptious!

That was what I thought when I read the recipe for Caramel Apple-Pear Cobbler with Oatmeal Muffin Crust. I couldn’t wait to get it all whipped up and ready to stick into the oven. The results indeed were heavenly—as good as it gets where fall desserts are concerned.

One of the neat things about this cobbler idea is that its topping, the Oatmeal Muffin Crust, can just as easily be used to make regular oatmeal muffins. If you take the batter and spoon it into greased muffin cups in a muffin pan and alter the cooking time just slightly, some flavorful muffins will appear from the oven. But as a top layer for the combined apples and pears, it was just too good to be believed. Dig down past the oatmeal-muffin layer; you’ll find some tender apples and pears that have been merged to make a terrific filling.

The mixture is great with sugar-free ice cream or sugar-free whipped topping. All the thanks go to www.myrecipes.com, which reprinted the instructions for this wonderful cobbler from the September 2004 issue of Southern Living.

Caramel Apple-Pear Cobbler

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
3 large pears, peeled and sliced
Oatmeal Muffin Batter (see below)
Garnish: toasted pecan halves

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to coat apples. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple mixture; bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add pears to skillet and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Spoon the hot fruit mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch (8-cup) deep-dish pie plate or shallow 2-quart baking dish. Spoon Oatmeal Muffin Batter evenly over fruit mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Garnish with toasted pecan halves if you desire.

Oatmeal Muffin Batter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1/2 cup chopped dates (I subbed raisins)
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

In a large mixing bowl combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Make a well in center of mixture. Stir together milk, melted butter, and lightly beaten egg; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. (If you want to use the batter for oatmeal muffins, spoon batter evenly into lightly greased muffin cups in a muffin pan. Fill them 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 10 muffins.)

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