Unfortunately, I missed a Westside Women’s luncheon Saturday but I got two kids happily off to college and my school year is underway, too. Things are settling in. Hopefully you will find me back at my blog a little more regularly now that the Back-to-School rush is done.
I still had a few lingering tomatoes from my summer farm stand runs so I made my favorite Savory Tomato Tart. This time it was more of a canyon than a tart.
We like the crust around here as much as the insides so I made a double crust for a single filling. The sides were admittedly a bit steep but we enjoyed the bonus crust that the double recipe provided. See what I mean?
I used fresh basil from my Pink Flamingo Herb Garden and dried basil from my pantry. I won that beautiful pink flamingo at one of our family game nights. He has been grazing in the herbs ever since.
For dessert I thought I would try a new recipe from a Fall Baking magazine from Taste of the South Publishers. It is called Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake.
By now the sun was setting and I was able to snap a photo in the last rays of the evening. Quite a dramatic presentation.
Here is the recipe. Commentary to follow.
Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons apple cider, divided
1 1/2 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if desired) (I don’t really care if my apples brown a bit)
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
2 (8.5 ounce) packages of corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with shortening or butter. In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons apple juice and return to a boil cooking one minute more. Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool. In a small bowl, stir together the apples and lemon juice. Arrange apple slices in a circle over cooled caramel in pan, overlapping slightly. Top with cranberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and remaining 1/3 cup cider. Add corn muffin mix, stirring until combined. Pour batter over fruit, gently smoothing top with an offset spatula. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen, and invert onto a serving platter.
And now for my opinion. It was a very showy and beautiful dish but it was a conundrum. Was it a cake? Was it cornbread? What would you eat it with? I don’t want sweet corn bread with black-eyed peas but I don’t want a hunk of cornbread for dessert either. It tasted great but it was a confusing dish to me. I think the next time I make it I will use only one box of cornbread and more apples and then I think it will just be a nice layer of crust on the bottom and everyone will inquire as to whatever did I put on the bottom and I will make them guess and then at the most suspenseful moment ever I will tell them that it is cornbread. Of course this is how it plays out in my head so I will have to keep you posted after the real next time I make it.