Winter cravings: Apples, peaches, strawberries are the stars of these special treats
By Olivia Sipe
This time of year when all the really good fresh fruit is at least two months away, I start looking for recipes using the fruit that is available whether it is fresh, canned or frozen. Apple pie cake uses crisp, sweet-tart apples that are available almost all winter. I plan to serve it with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Ice cream and caramel sauce is another delicious option. Good quality canned peaches to make peach crisp is already a favorite at my house. I’ve tried more strawberry shortcake recipes than I can count and have never been successful with one until now. Even though today’s recipe is fragile and a little difficult to handle, the flavor is so worth the extra effort. Frozen, sweetened sliced strawberries from the grocer’s freezer make it a great option for dessert in winter.
Call it fondue or dip; you will enjoy this recipe all year ’round.
Apple pie cake
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unpeeled apples, small dice
½ cup chopped nuts
Cinnamon or apple pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 or 9-inch pie pan lightly with Pam. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugars. In a small bowl beat egg, butter and vanilla until well blended. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in apples and nuts. Spread in the prepared pan and sprinkle with cinnamon or apple pie spice to taste. Bake 30 minutes or until golden and set.
1 (29-ounce) can sliced peaches
1 box Betty Crocker butter pecan cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with Pam. Pour peaches with juice into the prepared pan. Spread cake mix evenly over the peaches. In a medium bowl combine butter with coconut and pecans. Sprinkle coconut mixture evenly over cake mix. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until set and top is golden.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
5 level teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup butter, melted
Sweetened crushed strawberries
Spray a jelly roll pan with Pam. Line with waxed paper. Spray the paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs butter and vanilla. Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat well, at least one full minute. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on pan then remove to a wire rack. This cake is very fragile. Work gently. Top with strawberries and whipped cream.
Warm chocolate dip/fondue
6 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of Creme de Cacao, more if desired
Bite size pieces of: fresh pineapple, bananas, strawberries, cake and/or small cookies
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate. Add sugar, salt and cream. Stir constantly until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the liqueur. Keep warm throughout serving time.