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The First Day of Fall was yesterday, with the season officially changing from Summer at 4:44pm.
With the slight drop in temperature, different produce available at the markets and clear, bright blue skies, this time of year is inspiring and exciting.
I commence drawing my curtains early against the night, as opposed to leaving them open as I do in the summer months, enclosing my family in a safe, cozy space. I change the covers on our bed, and cook heartier, warmer, richer foods.


1/2 cup caramel topping
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 to 6 baking apples, peeled, cored and diced
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup quick cooking oats

Heat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, stir together caramel topping and the cinnamon until blended. Add apples, toss until evenly coated. Spread in 8-inch baking dish.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. If desired serve with whipped cream and extra caramel topping.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker, Crisps and Cobblers


8 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large apples, cored and chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.
Grease a 9 inch pan.
Cream butter and one cup of sugar. Add egg and beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, apples and walnuts. Batter will be stiff. Spoon into pan, bake for 35 minutes.
Combine 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour over hot cake. Serve warm.


1 1/2 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 pound pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 lemon, zested, then juiced
1/4 cup rum
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed slightly

Heat oven to 350F.
Toss apples, pears, zest, juice, rum, ginger, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle with flour and toss again. Scoop fruit mixture into one crust, top with the other crust.
Cut slits and crimp edges together. Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Self, November 2009