Fall has arrived which means things are about to become quite busy around here. Fall is my favorite time of year because: grain harvest. Grain harvest means family time, quiet tractor time (mostly) and an unending supply of country music as I move bushels of grain around. I enjoy watching my Mom care for all of the little ones and seeing her smile as she rolls out to the field with the next meals packed up in individual lunch boxes.
I also take so much pleasure in working alongside my Dad. There’s such a rush when he crests a hill and his combine hopper is nearly full of corn or soybeans. Swinging around the field in the tractor and grain cart and sliding underneath the auger “just in time” is one of the big thrills of my life. Now, for the other 95% of harvest when emotions are high, and things aren’t quite working just right or there’s rain on the horizon, one thing needs to be right: the food.
My Mom makes an incredible apple cake and you can snag the recipe for that here. She always makes the best food for the field. It is so nice to have someone prepare a meal for you when you are the one used to preparing meals for others. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Cake isn’t a normal item in our daily lunchbox but occasionally she will make some and I remember those days most!
I have been experimenting with various “visiting cakes”, which to me can be best described as simple cakes that can be enjoyed while visiting. Pears are in season this time of year and happen to be my favorite fruit to bake with so you will find them in this cake. One of the main ingredients in my fall cake recipes this year is AE Sour Cream. The texture of this sour cream is so luxurious it elevates the consistency of the batter of this cake. The tang from the sour cream adds a touch of acidity.
AE Dairy is right down the road from my house about 10 miles, and you can taste the quality. Ask any of their staff, the tasting experts! They have weekly taste tests where they check quality which I think is so dedicated. So often the human element is taken away, whether it is communication nowadays with fancy technology or the next fast food chain that goes “automated”. This Iowa company has traditions rich in supporting Iowa farmers, Iowa agriculture and Iowa taste buds. (And yes the surrounding states get a chance at some great AE Dairy products too.)
If you need me you can find me in the nearest green tractor with a blue grain cart… and I’ll be hoarding this cake in the secret console under my right arm rest. Just don’t tell my sister!
(Or my niece Kendyl… she steals my treats too!)
Pear Sour Cream Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup AE Sour Cream
1/4 cup AE Whole Milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled, chopped pears (approximately 3-4 pears)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cold, cubed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and AE Sour Cream. Beat for30 seconds to 1 minute until well blended. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in dry ingredients gently, do not overmix. Delicately fold in chopped pears. Pour into greased 9×13 baking dish. Set aside. Meanwhile, mix together nuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour and cold butter until a coarse mixture forms. Sprinkle on top of batter. Bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean and the cake is well browned. Remove from oven, let cool to warm before serving. Garnish with lightly sweetened, freshly whipped AE Heavy Whipping Cream. (recipe follows) *Combine 1 cup of well chilled AE Heavy Whipping Cream, 1-2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whip until soft to medium peaks form. Spoon over pear cake prior to serving.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AE Dairy. The opinions and text are all mine.