Tag Archives: butter

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake

I hate recipes. Did you see my tagline? “…rarely follows a recipe…” This is another one of my Let’s See if This Works recipes. I had two apples that were starting to get a little wrinkly on the outside. Not really crisp enough to serve in my husband’s lunch but not soft enough to toss in the woods for a critter to enjoy. So I thought I’d try a caramel apple upside down cake. But being lazy and not wanting to follow a recipe I looked in the cupboard and had a little box of corn bread mix. Voila!

I mean... come on. SO YUMMY.

I mean… come on. SO YUMMY.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and find a nice heavy 1 quart casserole dish or do like me and use your Pampered Chef 1 quart stone that you never used before and cross your fingers that it will come out.


2 large apples, peeled (if you don’t like the peels), cut in half, cored and sliced semi-thinly (in other words, don’t use that apple slicer thingy that gives you 8 perfect pieces. It will not work here.)

4-6 tablespoons of light brown sugar – you’ll use one heaping tablespoon at a time.

2 tablespoons of room temperature butter, to be used to butter your dish and to dollop over the last layer of apples

lemon zest from a whole lemon

lemon juice from half a lemon

one box of Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of brown sugar


Place the apple slices, lemon zest and lemon in a bowl and toss to coat the apples

Butter the bottom of a 1 quart baking stone or casserole dish

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar in bottom, sprinkled over top of the butter

place the apples in a pretty design (this will be the top once you remove it from the pan)

top the apples with a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar.

place another layer of apples and top with another heaping tablespoon of brown sugar. Keep doing this until you run out of apples. I think I got three or four layers of apples.

Top with brown sugar again and about one tablespoon of room temp butter, just pinched with your fingers and dolloped around the top.

Place apples in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes to help soften them a bit. This step isn’t really necessary if you like a firmer apple. I’m feeding the Queen of Picky-land so I have to soften them a bit more than usual.

Prepare the cornbread batter by mixing the egg, milk, vanilla, cornbread mix, 2 tbsp brown sugar in a bowl.

Remove the apples from the oven and top with the cornbread muffin mix. Shake the dish a little to allow the batter to run down through the crevices.

Bake again for 30 minutes or until cake is done. (toothpick comes out clean)

caramel apple upside down cornbread cake RIGHT-SIDE UP! It's still pretty this way, too.

caramel apple upside down cornbread cake RIGHT-SIDE UP! It’s still pretty this way, too.

Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before sliding a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Then  flip the cake onto a serving platter. If your cake doesn’t come out cleanly just don’t serve it to your guests on the platter. Excuse yourself to the kitchen to plop big portions of it into bowls and top with whipped cream or powdered sugar or ice cream, etc. etc. No one will ever know it wasn’t perfect. Heck, I think it looks pretty right-side up or upside down! Oh and p.s. You can leave this cake on the counter for a few hours but it’s best to refrigerate leftovers.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cornbread Cake


Green beans with Mushrooms

Green Beans with mushrooms as perfect side dish

Green Beans with mushrooms as perfect side dish

This evening I’m serving balsamic and grainy mustard marinated pork loin and toasted baguette… which is a recipe from a sweet friend of mine. It will blow you away (in another post). Anyway, I had to go to the store for butter because I’m down to a single stick of sweet cream butter – no salt added. And it’s giving me the shakes knowing I’m down to my last couple tablespoons.  So I ran to the store and while I was there I saw an overflowing tower of veggies and fruits on the “not the best” rack. I checked closely and found a bag of green beans. Fresh green beans. Yes. My side dish!  The green beans were $. 47. FORTY SEVEN CENTS! And it was a huge bag too. So I brought them home along with my butter and snipped them and made this.

Green beans with mushrooms

4 cups snipped cleaned green beans (by the way, ‘snipping’ consists of pulling the stem end off the green bean. It sort of just snaps off if you bend it. The other end – the curly little tail – that can stay on.)

1 package sliced Portobello mushrooms

1 clove of garlic minced*

2 Tablespoons finely chopped sweet onions or shallot*

1/2 teaspoon salt

(*I put the 3 cloves of garlic and a half of a large sweet vidalia onion in the food processor because I’m using lots of garlic and onion for the baguette too. If you are NOT using onion and garlic for anything else, just follow the ingredient list above)

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

splash of worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup white wine if desired (I’m always drinking it, so why not?)

To start, place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in sauce pan. Put a tablespoon of onion/garlic mixture in pan to sautee and sizzle for a minute. Put in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Once fragrant throw in all the green beans. Toss to coat. Pour in white wine and apple cider vinegar and let steam for one-two minutes. Then pour on the 2 cups of water and put a lid on it for twenty – thirty minutes and cook until crisp and tender.

Meanwhile, place small pat of butter and splash of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and heat until melted. Add another tablespoon of onion/garlic mixture and let sautee for a minute. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once caramelized a bit, add splash of wine to the mushrooms. (Just pour a splash out of the glass in your hand.)  Then add splash of worcestershire sauce and stir.

Take green beans from sauce pot with tongs making sure to shake off as much water as possible and place in pan with mushrooms and onions. Let sautee for a minute or two and then add 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar again to this pan. Add a tablespoon of butter and toss to coat. Serve warm! Yum.