Fall Flavors and Family

My dad’s birthday was earlier this month, but because of soccer schedules, we didn’t manage to get together until this weekend.  I kind of waited until the last moment to figure out what I was serving because October weather has been so odd this year!  Today, for instance, was supposed to be warm and sunny.  It’s overcast, breezy and cool.  If I can ever get myself together, it will be a perfect day to work on a new baby quilt.  I have my strips cut and a fresh pot of coffee, so half the battle has been won!

I made the Pumpkin Cream Farfalle from Whitney’s book and added green peas and chopped chicken breast so it was a complete meal.  It’s the third time I’ve made it since the book arrived a few weeks ago and once again, it was a hit.  Whitney wrote a fabulous cookbook, but I tell you, this is definitely my favorite of all!

For as long as I can remember, my dad has always requested pumpkin pie for his birthday.  But I didn’t feel like wrestling with pie crust and since there was already so much pumpkin in the pasta, I wanted a different flavor.

Thank Heavens for Pinterest.  There, I found this recipe for apple cider pound cake.  It looked glorious and comforting and since I had fresh apple cider in my fridge, the perfect solution to our dessert quest.  And then, I saw the actual recipe and realized I needed to make some adjustments.  The result was amazing!  My family loved it and although the glaze looks nothing like what the original showed, I’m very pleased.  Pleased enough that I think this will accompany my usual pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

Apple Cider Pound Cake with Caramel Maple Syrup Glaze (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Then, mix in the spices, salt and baking powder. Add one cup of flour and mix through.  Pour in about half of the apple cider and mix.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides before adding the rest of flour and cider.  Mix on medium until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the batter is flecked with the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour batter into a very well greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes.  Test with a knife in the center to make sure it comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool enough to handle before removing it from the pan, making sure to loosen the sides before you do so.

This is what was left of the Apple Cider Pound Cake… it got eaten too fast for me to take a photo of the full plate!

In a small pan, once the cake comes out of the oven, mix together, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. milk, 2 Tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Bring to a boil and stir frequently.  It will take 5-8 minutes for the sugars to caramelize, so you will need to stay nearby, stirring.  Keep the glaze boiling, until the caramel turns to the color you desire.  I boiled mine for about 7 minutes and the color wasn’t that dark.  But, oh…  it tasted so good!  Drizzle over the pound cake, while the cake is still warm from the oven.

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