Very Berry Upside Down Cake

© Can Stock Photo / Elenathewise

I don’t remember where this recipe came from, but I obviously found it somewhere. It was for a blackberry upside down cake, but I’ve made it with other kinds of berries, including raspberries and blueberries, and it always comes out well. I’ll bet you could even create a black forest upside cake with raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. Come to think of it, that does sound good, so I’ll just call it a very berry upside down cake.

This recipe is great if you’re trying to avoid processed foods and go back to basics, just like they did in Rosie’s day. In fact, I’m sure Rosie would have approved.

Gayle Martin

A Very Berry Upside Down Cake

Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups fresh berries, such as blackberries, raspberries or blue berries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Cake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the topping by melting butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Add berries. Stir until mixture begins to bubble, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add sugar, stir and crush berries slightly for approximately 5 minutes, or until berries at hot and slightly broken down. Remove from heat and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan.

Prepare the cake batter by creaming the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Alternately add flour and milk to the butter mixture. Add vanilla and mix. Pour batter over the berry mixture. Batter may be thin.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool until pan is slightly warm, about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to separate it from the sides of the pan. Place a cake plate over the pan and flip. Lift pan to slowly release the cake.

***

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War 2 ration recipes.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and with other online booksellers.

Eggless Upside-Down Cake

© Can Stock Photo / NewIllustrations

In many ways it seems like post pandemic supply chain issues we are experiencing today are reminiscent of WWII supply chain issues. Back in the nineteen-forties many shoppers found empty store shelves and had to improvise to create healthy, tasty meals. To help ease the shortages, food producers reformulated recipes to use less of those ingredients which were in short supply. Eggs were among those items in short supply.

Adding to today’s supply chain issues is avian flu. It’s creating  egg shortages in our own time. Thankfully, those eggless recipes from Rosie’s day are as helpful today as they were in her time.

Gayle Martin

EGGLESS UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/3 to ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 ½ cups canned pineapple wedges, peach slices, or cooked prunes
  • ½ cup broken pecan meats, if desired
  • 1 recipe Delicious Cottage Pudding (below)

Melt butter in 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan or 8-inch skillet over low flame. Add brown sugar and cook and stir until thoroughly mixed. On this arrange fruit; sprinkle nuts over top.

Mix Delicious Cottage Pudding batter below as directed and pour over contents of pan. Bake in moderate oven (350º F) 50 to 60 minutes, or until done. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Turn upside down on dish with fruit on top.

DELICIOUS COTTAGE PUDDING

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Sift flour once, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and cream together well. Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla. Bake in greased pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches, in moderate oven, (350F), 50 to 60 minutes, or until done.

*Note: At the time this recipe was written not all baking powders were double-acting. Less baking powder may be needed.

***

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW II home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World WarII ration recipes with short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and with other online booksellers.

 

Yes You Can Can

Historic U.S. Government Poster

Back in Rosie’s day home canning made food stretch further and helped save money. This is also true today. Whether it’s fresh fruit grown in your home garden or on sale at your local supermarket, home canning can be a lot of fun, as well as a nice family activity.

Home canning may seem mysterious or intimidating at first, but there really isn’t much to it. You’ll need to invest in a few basic supplies to get started; a canner, which is a large, oversized stockpot with a special rack inside, a jar lifter, and a set of mason jars, all of which can be found at Ace Hardware. You’ll also need some canning pectin, which is available at your local supermarket. From there you simply follow the recipes inside the pectin box. Here’s how I do it.

Start with the prep work

I begin by filling my canner with water, placing the rack inside, and turning the burner on medium-high. (If for some reason your canner does not have a rack, place a folded tea towel on the bottom of the canner before filling it.) The canner uses a lot of water, and it may take as long as forty-five minutes, perhaps longer, before it reaches the boiling point. You’ll need to fill your canner with enough water to cover the tops of your jars by at least one inch. Water gets heavy, so I use a pitcher to fill mine.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and wash your jars, caps and rings. Place the jars on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Drop the caps and rings in a saucepan filled with water. Heat the water until it begins to boil, and then turn the heat down to low.

Prepare the fruit

Prepare your fruit as directed by the recipes inside the pectin box. Do not deviate from the recipes. Once you’ve filled your jars, wipe away any excess that may have dripped on the top of the jar. Place a cap on the top and make sure the ring secure. Then, once the water in the canner has begun to boil, gently place the jar inside the canner with the jar lifter. Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and never place a jar directly on the bottom of the canner. Cover and boil the cans for the time stated in the recipe.

And finally

Once you’ve finished cooking your jars carefully remove them from the canner using the jar lifter, and set them on a dish towel.  As your jars begin to cool you’ll hear popping sounds. This means the caps are sealing. To test the caps once they’ve cooled press your finger down on the center. If the cap doesn’t move it’s sealed. However, if the cap should move it means it didn’t seal properly. Sometimes this happens, and if it does simply place the jar in the refrigerator once it’s completely cooled and use the contents promptly.

DO NOT try to lift the canner until it has completely cooled. A full canner will be extremely heavy, so you may need to bail out some of the water with a pitcher before lifting.

And, finally, the rings and mason jars are reusable, so be sure to hang onto them once the jar is empty. The only thing that needs to be replaced are the caps.

Gayle Martin

 

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

The things you will find after your kitchen has been remodeled. This time it was scrap of paper with my mother’s fruit cobbler recipe, written in her own handwriting. I’m so happy to have found it as I thought this was one recipe that was gone for good. Her fruit cobblers were amazing, and she often served them with breakfast. They’re also super easy to make and fabulous for dessert too.

Mom usually made hers with peaches, but other fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries or raspberries, will also work.

Gayle Martin

FRESH FRUIT COBBLER

  • 4 to 6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, OR
  • 3 to 4 packages fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or strawberries*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of cinnamon, if desired

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix fresh fruit, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, if desired. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top.

Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drop by spoonful over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes or until the topping is brown.

*Canned fruit may also be used if your favorite fresh fruit is unavailable.

 

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook includes other delicious cobbler recipes. Available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.