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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Can't get enough of this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

Yes, it was involved—uber involved, you might say. Lotsa steps to this coffee-cake wonder. But you want a breakfast dish that says fall with a big flourish—you got one right here!

Glorious fall apples, fresh from our farm-stand visit, formed a layer atop the coffee-cake batter. Easy streusel topping and caramel sauce layered onto that. The sumptuous streusel topping contained the first pecans from our prized paper-shell pecan tree, which was anything but productive last season. We’re thrilled to greet this year’s pecan harvest, even if it’s not huge. Nothing like fresh, chopped pecans on a from-scratch coffee cake.

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

2 tablespoons butter
3 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 3 large)
streusel topping
caramel sauce
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add apples. SautĂ© 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile prepare streusel topping and caramel sauce (recipes below). Reserve 1/2 cup caramel sauce for later use. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured shiny 9-inch springform pan; top with apples (I used a regular 9-inch cake pan and used a spatula to remove the layer from the pan after the cake baked.) Drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce; sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until center is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes; remove sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack (about  1 1/2 hours). Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.

Streusel Topping

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)

Stir together all ingredients until blended. Let stand 30 minutes or until firm enough to crumble into small pieces.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup honey

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat bring ingredients to a boil. Stir constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes before you serve. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week. To reheat microwave at high 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. (Source: Southern Living, September 2012)

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