This and That - and Apple & Pear Pudding Cake

My sis, Di, gave me a pep talk this week. She got me inspired into taking my “mess” of recipes and reorganizing them. My two sisters definitely got the organizational genes in my family! I can get organized, but I have a hard time staying on top of things for very long!

So I’m taking this binder …

And I’m going to get organized! I’ll be back in a few weeks to show you how it all went!

In the meantime, these came in the mail this week …

And we’ll be planting them here (probably next month) ...

Want to know why we use a greenhouse?
• Starts germination sooner
• Substantial insect control
• They’re also peaceful, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money
(our new green greenhouse only cost $149 by mail order)

I also have a new journal ($2.99 TJ Maxx) with some cool, inspiring pictures between the pages. There is nothing like a new journal to start off the New Year!

It’s also fun to catch the Christmas sales ...

Snip off the “Christmassy part" ...

And make it useable year-round (front door) ...

My promised Apple & Pear Pudding Cake recipe (modified from Jamie Oliver’s Orchard Eve’s pudding with whiskey Jersey cream) is one you will want to try!

I was able to go to my garage refrigerator and pull out apples and pears from the vegetable bin that I had stored back from October! Even though they looked old at this point – they were perfect for this cake!

Apple & Pear Pudding Cake
4-5 pounds – your choice of apples, pears, or a mixture of both
¼ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
3 bay leaves
1-2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the batter – the raw sugar really makes it!
1 ½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup raw sugar
8 eggs
3 ½ cups self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 350. I made this cake in a buttered 9x13 pan. You can also ½ the recipe and cook in an 8” baking dish.

Getting started
Peel and core apples and pears, cut into large wedges. Place in big saucepan with butter, brown sugar, spices and bay leaves. Cook for 20-30 minutes with the lid on, until fruit is softened. Set aside.

Making the batter
Cream the butter and the sugar together with the wooden spoon. Add the eggs, beating them in well. Fold in the flour.

Don't use the juices
Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the cooked fruit (without the juices) into the bottom of your baking dish.

Top with all of the batter, spooning remaining fruit mixture on top (reserving the juices)

Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and risen

Ready to serve
Whip cream until stiff, adding powdered sugar and vanilla. Serve on top of warm cake, drizzling fruit juices on top! (I forgot to do the last step when I served this dessert. I can only imagine how delicious it would have been if I had added the fruit juices! I also didn’t get a picture with the cream on top – but this WAS a fabulous dessert!)

Planning ahead for warm cake
The night I served this dessert my kitchen smelled so good! The kitchen candle was lit, dinner rolls were fresh out of the oven, and my cake was ready to go into the oven as soon as my guests arrived. (Above photo: cake ready to pop into oven!)

If I can, I like to wait until my guests show up before I bake my dessert – that way your house smells delicious and you get to serve WARM dessert!

OK friends – the shoes in the last post were dusty – but they got wiped off and used this last weekend when my husband and I had a date on the dance floor! It’s been a while since we’ve danced, but we’re re-learning the Tango!


Ronda said...

You make the most wonderful receipes on your site, thanks for sharing them. Also you daughters room looks really good, my daughter is re-doing her room too but she is 21 and doing it herself so that is nice. :)

a woman who is said...

Hi Sandy, I love your repurposed Christmas wreath, you amaryllis, yummy looking cake, and I must admit the greenhouse has me a bit green with envy...lol. Can't wait to see what you will be growing. I have been doing a bit of reorganizing here too, but now it is definitely time to move on to my favorite January job. Ordering seeds from the catalogues, and plant a bulb or two for some flowers before spring...

Ms. Tee said...

Oh, heavens! That recipe sounds amazing! I'm going to make it this weekend for some friends. :)

Sandy Toes said...

OH..that looks wonderful!!! I have my cookbook from when I had my wedding shower...mine looks like yours..I need to do something with it!
-sandy toe

Jen said...

The Tangl how wonderful. the cake sounds really good too. And I cannot wait to start in our own garden as well.
I made dinner for a working friend this week. It made me feel really good...thanks for your time and inspiration and encouragement on this.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I just decided that I am starved! That looks so good.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Yummy cake! I love that you wait to bake it...I am sure your guests love smelling it baking when they walk in the door! And good for you on the tango lessons! I am impressed!

ellen b. said...

Oh that cake looks so darn good. What a great idea to put it in the oven when the guests arrive...

Betts said...

The recipe sounds delish. I can almost smell it from the photos.

Good luck getting those recipes organized. I need to do some of that myself.

Grace said...

what a wonderful cake. that's a heck of a lot of butter, plus there's cream involved. and apples, can't forget those. bravo. :)

Kirstin said...

Yummy! The cake sounds good. I have never thought or heard of using a bay leaf in a cake...what kind of flavor does it give it?

Love the journals, and your recipe binder looks like my recipe folder...yikes! My goal is to get them all on my computer complete with photos, print them and store them in sleeves in a binder. I'd like to do one for each of my girls.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

That cake sounds absolutely wonderful. I know my kids and husband would love it.

I really need to organize my "paper" recipes. I have the ones I have pulled from magazines all nice and neat in a three ring binder. The other recipes that are hand written are in a state of disgrace.

A greenhouse for 149? I am shocked (in a happy way!)! What an awesome deal.


Myrna said...

Several of my "Christmas Decor" items stay out until March. I change it up by maximizing snowflakes and hearts for Winter and Valentines. have a recipe binder (and also a 25 year old file box) that looks like yours, and there the recipes stay until they are adopted as "tried and true" (many still have gone untested---but sound terrific!!) then they go into the real recipe box. I'm such a clipper ---there is no other way.

We always talk about dance lessons, but lack the courage---good for you!

Christine said...

I am so with you on organization..I can and do know how to get there I just can't seem to stay there! I have picked up some really good deals as well, just need to get them up into the attic with the rest of the Christmas things so I don't forget them next year! Will try your yummy looking pudding cake. Have a blessed day! =O)

Melanie said...

I made an apple cake today for my mother. I usually make a caramel glaze for it but you inspired me to serve it with home made whipped cream!
Mother makes a pear cobbler...we'll try your cake w/pears.

Vickie said...

Sandy...When I saw your recipe binder it took me back to my recipe binder / file box. Finding a recipe sometimes took me longer than making it! As I drew near to the end of my 40s, my hastily scribbled recipes became more difficult to read...holding them out as far as my arms could stretch! So, I did what you are doing now...organized. I went one step further and continue to do this with new recipes... I use my computer to write out my recipes...sometimes even getting 'fancy' with a photo. I use a large font so I can easily read it. This also makes it so easy when someone asks for a recipe, I can quickly print it out. My daughter recently moved to another country and when I get those "Mom, I need that recipe" phone call I can quickly email it to her!

Live.Love.Eat said...

That cake looks amazing!!!!! And how were the apples and pears still good from October. Mine go bad way before then. Is there a secret like making the fridge extra cold?

Lora said...

That cake looks really good!

I'd love to hear more about your garden. We're planning our very first garden this year and I feel kind of clueless.

LuLu said...

My receipe book is in need of organizing, I need to do this! Oh your cake looks so good, perfect on this cold day,

edie said...

I love how you are so purposeful with teaching the girls. I'm working on it. Thanks for visiting yesterday~

Mrs. B. said...

I'm excited to see how you organize your recipes! How fun.
Have you ever seen tastebook.com? Very interesting site...I want to make one!