Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake -- A Pinch of Joy

Hummingbird Cake -- A Pinch of Joy
I’ve heard of Hummingbird Cake forever and wondered what it was. I pictured something light and fluffy, fruity and sweet to taste. You know – hummingbird like!   So I jumped at the chance to make one when my friend Donna shared a Hummingbird Cake recipe.

Be sure to use overripe bananas since they are sweeter. Mashing them releases more of the ripe banana flavor.   Mash bananas with a fork in a small bowl or in the two cup measure. It will take about 4 bananas to make two cups. Don’t drain the pineapple. You can substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans (or use coconut instead if there is nut allergy to worry about). A 9×13 pan will work, but I’d recommend using the layer pans. I used a 9×13 pan as it is the only one available at the moment and it took about 45 minutes for the center to test done. Even then it was a little gooey to eat. I cut in half to make a layer cake. A good cream cheese frosting is traditional. I wasn’t sure how to embellish the cake so I just used a row of pecan halves along the bottom. Next time –and there will be a next time– I will chop extra pecans and press them into the sides of the frosted cake. I’ll also try about half a teaspoon of nutmeg along with the cinnamon. Delicious cake and gets even better if you can resist eating it all in the first day or two!

Nobody seems to know where the hummingbird fits into the picture. It’s not because the cake is light and fluffy, fruity and sweet to taste or remotely bird like. However, it is dense and moist, slightly spicy and sort of tropical to the taste. So here’s my theory on the name: Humming birds eat at least half their weight in sugar each day just to survive. With their high metabolism they can eat up to 8 times their own weight in a single day. They eat “meals” just like people, usually about 5 times a day.   This is perfect humming bird food: Dense with just enough sugar and you’ll want it more than once a day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-)

Hummingbird Cake
 
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Dense, moist oh-so-good cake with banana, pineapple and nuts!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups oil
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (3-4 large bananas)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, gently mixing with whisk.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well moistened. Do not over mix.
  4. Spray 3 9 inch cake pans or two 8x8 square pans. Divide cake mixture evenly between pans.
  5. Bake 25-35 minutes until cake is done in center. When done, a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.
  6. Cool fifteen minutes before removing from pan to rack. When completely cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.

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Pear Tart

Pear Tart -- A Pinch of Joy
Pear Tart -- A Pinch of Joy

Wheels found a great deal on pears at the General Store the other day while on a parts run. I like pears but don’t usually think about buying them on my trips to the grocery. So I don’t have a lot of pear recipes – this one for Honey Butter Baked pears and this one for Pear Honey. Just happened to be going through some old cookbooks to choose keepers that evening. The shape of this tart caught my eye and when I saw pears were involved . . . well, those pears in the refrigerator had a focus for my experimentation and tweaking! Actually, foci* – because there was enough to make three pear tarts over the next several days.

Using premade pie crust makes Pie Tart super easy and fast! Making pie crust from scratch is also easy and doesn’t take that much time, so do that if you are so inclined. Flour and sugar in the middle of the crust to absorb the wonderful pear juices. Lemon juice to prevent the pear from browning when exposed to air. I added mine to the glaze, but you can also pour/brush it on the pears before putting the tart into the oven. I peeled the pears (a little hastily as you can tell from the photo). Then sliced them in half and cored them before arranging them. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so you can lift the entire tart from the pan for cooling. Arrange pear halves in the middle of the pie crust, leaving a couple of inches of crust all the way around. Fold up the edges this way:

Pear Tart Unbaked -- A Pinch of Joy
Make the glaze after you slide the tart in the oven, so the glaze has time to cool and thicken even more. Gently spoon the glaze over the pears just after you take it from the oven, so the fruit absorbs the sweet moisture.

Pear Tart -- Baked A Pinch of Joy

No tips on how to get the tender tart from the parchment paper to serving platter. All of them disappeared before I could try.

Serve warm or cold. Mmm – divine stuff!

* vocabulary bucket list item – use the plural of focus in a totally nonchalant manner. Bonus points for being meaningful. Sort of.

Pear Tart
 
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Firm deeply flavored pears in a tender crust, sweetened just enough by a simple glaze.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 piecrust
  • 3 medium or 4 small pears, halved and cored.
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
Glaze
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. If using baking sheet for free form tart, prepare by lining it with parchment paper. Can also use pie pan, tart pan or cheesecake pan.
  2. Place pie crust in pan.
  3. Mix ⅓ cup sugar and flour together in center of piecrust and spread over evenly over bottom of crust. For free form, spread to within 2 inches of the edge.
  4. Arrange pears halves as desired. Pears may also be sliced and arranged in rows or circles or simply spread evenly over crust.
  5. Fold crust up for free form. Crimp crust if in pan.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until pears are tender and crust is golden brown.
  7. In meantime, prepare glaze. Bring sugar, water and lemon juice to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer gently, until slightly thickened about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and let set until pears are done.
  8. Remove tart from oven and place on rack to cool. Spoon glaze evenly over tart.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Polka Dot Macaroons

Polka Dot Macaroons -- A Pinch of Joy
Polka Dot Macaroons -- A Pinch of Joy

Polka Dot Macaroons are quick and easy to make, a coconut lover’s dream! The mini candies are just the perfect size. However, I think it would be fun to use the red and green regular sized M&Ms for a festive Christmas cookie. I made a couple of attempts toward that. I actually bought the Christmas colors. And not once, but twice, they completely vanished before I got the cookies made. And it was my fault. Because I opened the package. Since when is that carte blanche for kitchen passersby to abscond with the goods and eat the whole thing????   Oh – back to the recipe. Make. Bake. Eat. :-)  It’s that easy!

Polka Dot Macaroons
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 5 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup M&M minis
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine coconut and flour.
  3. Add milk and mix well.
  4. Stir in M&Ms.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined or greased baking sheets.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  7. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.


A dozen great cookie recipes.  Check back daily to see the Cookie of the Day! 

1.  Fruitcake cookies      
2.  Almond Coconut Crunch Cookies
3.  Pineapple Walnut Cookies
4.  Maple Caramel Swirl Cookies
5.  Peppermint Chocolate Thumbprints
6.   Cherry Almond Chews
7.  Polka Dot Macaroons
8.  Red Velvet Cookies with white chocolate and walnuts
9.  Butterscotch Pecan Softies – no bake
10.
11.
12.

Bonus!!
Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies   A unique, crispy shortbread type cookie textured with oatmeal, coconut and chocolate chips.
Macaroons and Chocolate — Chewy Coconut macaroons dipped in smooth chocolate 
THE Best Easy Gift Fudge —  It only takes 5 minutes to stir and slice this creamy rich fudge (plus a couple hours in the fridge)
No Bake Chocolate Gems – a chocolatey, chewy sweet treat that is so easy to make anytime
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars —  tastes just like the peanut butter cups in the bright orange wrapper

For more sweet recipes check the A Pinch of Joy Desserts and Sweets gallery.


I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!

Subscribe:  email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!

 



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