Fall Round-up: 5 Tastes of the Season (Cinnamon Ice Cream, anyone?)

Happy Fall! This past weekend (Sept. 21st) marked the official start of fall and I’m loving it. The chill in the morning when I walk to the bus stop is the best! 🙂 Plus, I got to bust out the fall boots. I’m not normally one to jump on trend bandwagons, but I have to say I really want some  knee-high cable knit socks to wear under those boots to up the cozy-factor. (Sounds cute right?)

Anyway, I know you don’t come here for fashion commentary. This post is a round-up of fall recipes I’ve put on the blog before, but deserve to get more attention now that I have (slightly) more readers. You newbies might have missed out on these classics!!

For my birthday a couple weekends ago I went apple picking with my in-laws at Stribling Orchard in Virginia. The day was lovely, the apples were plentiful, and the ensuing pie was delicious. I canned four quarts of applesauce, which used up most of the haul, but also made a pie and am working out an apple crumb bar recipe that will hopefully be posted soon!

In the meantime, enjoy the tastes of the season with these 5 recipes!

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Apple Cider Cake (ridiculously appley)

Apple Cider Cake ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Cinnamon Ice Cream (what else should go on that pie?!)

Cinnamon Ice Cream~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Oh heck, here is a bonus one! Sweet potatoes shouldn’t be forgotten this time of year! 🙂

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Candied Bacon

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Candied Bacon ~ Erin's DC Kichen

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Spiffed-Up Blueberry Muffins

Hi dear readers, it’s my last blueberry post.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Spiffed-up blueberry muffins! So, what’s spiffed up about them?

Spiffed-Up Blueberry Muffins~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Well, the addition of whole grain flour of course. Why that? Read on friends.

My mom would crank out classic blueberry muffins every summer after we went picking. I always got excited about them, but didn’t love them (sorry mom).  I could not put my finger on the exact reason why I didn’t enjoy the muffins as much as I should have until I read a recipe from Nigel Slater. He pointed out that some muffins have a metallic taste which is due to the leavening agent. He recommended spelt flour to get rid of that flavor.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

I didn’t have any spelt on hand, so I improvised, natch. Whole wheat worked just as well, and yielded delicious, moist and chewy muffins. The whole wheat provides a nutty flavor that masks the leavening but compliments the gentle sweetness of the blueberries.

Spiffed-Up Blueberry Muffins ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Spiffed-Up Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Nigel Slater)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl soft butter
  • scant 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • scant 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375°.  Line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups. Mix together the flours, baking powder and soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, mix to combine, then the vanilla extract. Alternate adding in the flour mixture and the milk, until the ingredients are gently combined. Fold in blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups. Slater suggests sprinkling with oats and demerara sugar for visual effect, but I skipped it. 🙂

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until skewers come out mostly clean when muffins are pricked. Remove from baking tins and let cool on a rack.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Blueberry Preserves

The husband and I went blueberry picking last weekend at Butler’s Orchard and hauled in a little over 12 lbs!

Fresh picked blueberries ~ Erins' DC Kitchen

So you know what that means? JAM! And more blueberry posts 🙂

Oddly enough, this is the first time I’ve made blueberry jam on my own versus just helping (loosely) my Mom make hers. (Thanks for peaking my interest in canning!)

Homemade Blueberry Jam~ Erin's DC Kitchen

So pretty isn’t it?

Homemade Blueberry Jam~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Right after I finished this batch, I had to turn around and leave for a business trip to Newport, RI and didn’t get to try any of it until this morning! It’s was so good, not overly sweet because I opted for a lower sugar recipe, and bursting with blueberry pieces.

Here is the recipe!

Erin’s Blueberry Jam

  • 5 cups crushed blueberries (it took around 9 cups of whole berries to get to 5 crushed)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups sugar (up to 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons Ball powder pectin (or 1 box pectin, 49 to 57 g)

Makes about 7 to 8 eight ounce (250 ml) jars

Prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids. In a very large pot combine the berries and lemon juice. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add all the sugar and honey at once, then return to a full boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Ladle into prepared jars and leave 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Place on lids and bands, boil in the canner for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let stand 24 hours, during which time the lids should vacuum seal.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Need a more comprehensive breakdown of how to make jams? Read my step-by-step, soup to nuts guide to strawberry jam.

Pink Lemonade Icebox Bars

Lemonade Icebox Bars ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

Happy summer my dear readers! June 21st marked the first ‘official’ day of summer on the calender, but we’ve been going full summer down here in DC for a few weeks. Sundresses!

I’ve been wanting to make an icebox-style dessert since I first read about it in Southern Living magazine (I believe). So, when I was asked to bring a dessert to a friend’s BBQ this past weekend, I made this tangy, sweet, citrusy and chilly little number.

Pink Lemonade Icebox Bars ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

It could not be easier to whip this up either. Cool Whip, lemonade mix and sweetened condensed milk are the key ingredients. Plus- the crust! Oh the crust.

Pink Lemonade Icebox Bars ~ Erin's DC Kitchen

I crushed pretzels and mixed them with butter and sugar to make this sweet ‘n’ salty crust– amazeballs!

My tip for this recipe is to make sure you have enough time to fully freeze the bars. I had only refrigerated the bars for a couple hours before initially serving them at the party and the texture was not right- it was almost pudding-like and didn’t hold shape. However, once fully frozen, the texture became smooth and silky, and held a perfect bar shape once cut.

Pink Lemonade Icebox Bars

  • 1 8 oz carton Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 12 oz can Minute Maid pink lemonade mix (from concentrate), thawed
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 5 drops pink food coloring
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 cups well crushed pretzels
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

For the crust: Preheat oven to 375°. Crush pretzels in a food processor until mainly crumbs with some a few small pieces. Toss in a large bowl with white sugar. Melt butter and drizzle over the crumbs, toss to coat. Press into the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking pan and bake for 10 minutes, just until set. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the bars: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until creamy and well combined. Mix in the pink lemonade mix and the food coloring, beat until combined. Gently fold in the Cool Whip and mix until incorporated fully. Pour into the cooled crust, cover and freeze until set, at minimum 2 hours. (I did mine overnight).

Enjoy!

– Erin

Want more lemonade goodness? Check out my Strawberry Lemonade Cookie Bars!