Fruit Betty (celiac-friendly)

Blueberry-Plum Betty

It being the holiday season, many of us will probably or have already found ourselves with unexpected guests dropping by or last-minute invitations. Being able to serve folks a tasty homemade treat is one of the life’s finest pleasures, and today, I have one that’s delicious, flexible, and a snap to make—you can throw it together, into the oven, and have it on the table in under 45 minutes (most of that being baking time): the classic and cozy fruit Betty.

Blennerhassett Mansion kitchen, Blennerhassett Island, WV. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning is okay if you pin to this page—thanks!

Blennerhassett Mansion kitchen, Blennerhassett Island, WV

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Some Sweetness For Your Weekend

Earl Grey CupcakeI’m not sure why, but I’ve spent a great deal of time in the kitchen of late—more than usual, that is; I cook about 98% of our meals and simply enjoy the process (and, of course, the results). Obviously there’s the newfound tasty giggles to be found in Jell-O molds, but I’ve been baking a lot, too.

Perhaps it’s the winter—being safely but involuntarily cooped up inside from the cold but wanting of course to stay active; maybe it’s the still-recent-to-me loss of my grandfather, occasionally stinging more deeply when a box of things from his house arrives as Dad, my aunt, and my uncle continue cleaning out his and Grandma’s home and pass things on to family members. Grandma was an amazing baker and cook, as I’ve mentioned before; it seems that most of her kitchen things are being divvied up between my aunt and I, because we’re the ones who seem to simply love being in the kitchen the way Grandma did (we are also both passionate gardeners, like Grandpa…two apples who did not fall far from the tree, to be sure). Whipping things up in Grandma Sally’s and Great-Grandma’s bowls makes me feel so close to them both—Great Grandma was a whiz in the kitchen, too—it’s as if they’re in the kitchen with me. Grandpa used Grandma Sally’s bowls after she passed 20 years ago, so…it’s just warm. Does that makes sense?

It has been bittersweet, using these new additions to my kitchen, but less bitter and more sweet every time I use them. Sometimes I wonder what Grandma would say, seeing me go about dressed and coiffed so that people at the supermarket and in church stop me to tell me I look like I’ve “stepped out of an old movie”, baking and cooking and gardening and canning; I like to think she’d smile and love it. Grandpa certainly did, as do my mom’s parents, so I guess I have to go with their verdict and guess hers would be the same, don’t I?

Maybe all of this baking and kitchen bustle of late is my way of working through the loss. Earl Grey Cupcake with Lemon cream cheese frosting Considering my genetic predisposition to this sort of thing, it does make sense, doesn’t it? And I know Grandma and Great-Grandma would be proud as Grandpa took “just two”. 😉

At any rate…all this to say that the house smells like a bakery these days (not a bad thing!) and I’ve probably put out maybe four dozen cupcakes in the past two weeks. Yes, you read that right! First a batch of strawberry cupcakes with lemon frosting that left me with an overload of the latter.

Hating to waste all of that lemon frosting, I decided to make a tea-flavoured cupcake to use it up, because as we know, lemon and tea are quite good friends indeed. A quick internet search led me to these Earl Grey Cupcakes from Edible Moments (another blog that appears dead—I sure can pick ’em!) that seemed perfect.  Continue reading