In the kitchen with Brian and Lisa: Fall favorites

by | Nov 2, 2017

WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Local Dish Cooking segment. This month’s recipes are in-season, favorite fall flavors, apples and figs.

The following recipe is unique and tasty -a delicious treat of sweet, savory, smoky and spicy. Lisa suggests trying them on the grill.

Bacon Wrapped Figs

  • 14 fresh figs
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 14 Applewood-smoked bacon slices

Stir together molasses, vinegar and pepper. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap around each fig securing with a toothpick. Place bacon wrapped figs on a baking sheet lined with foil and place in oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, baste bacon with molasses mixture, turn figs and cook 10 minutes more.

The dessert below is full of favorite fall flavors. Lisa notes that you can always add more fruit and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

Fig and Apple Sheet Cake

  • 3⁄4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh figs
  • 1 cup apple, sliced thin (we used a Braeburn)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a lightly greased 13×9-inch pan with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides as needed.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the sour cream, orange zest, orange juice and almond extract in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Spread batter into prepared baking pan, and scatter figs and apple slices over batter. Bake about an hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

This slaw is perfect for cooler weather with lots of fall flavors using the apple and fennel.

Apple Fennel Slaw

  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 large crisp, sweet apple, thinly sliced (Lisa used Gala)
  • 1 cup angel hair cabbage
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons creole mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Slice fennel bulb thinly, reserving the fronds. Finely chop fennel fronds to equal 1 ½ tablespoons to sprinkle over salad.
In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Juice the lemon and orange, removing any seeds. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, mustard, honey, and garlic. Let citrus mixture stand for 10 minutes. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the slaw mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle fennel fronds over salad and serve.

Lisa suggests serving this dessert with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cobbler with Cheese

  • 6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 7 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1⁄2 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Toss apples with lemon juice. Whisk together cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl, then add in apples and toss to combine well. Transfer to baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes. While fruit bakes, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and cheese; stir until dough forms. Drop dough onto hot fruit mixture in mounds, sprinkle dough with remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake cobbler until top is golden, about 25 minutes.