A Southern Grace: farms of hickory (and an awesome giveaway)

November 17, 2013

farms of hickory (and an awesome giveaway)

Yum

I think my new favorite item to make is the upside-down cake.


Granted, there aren't quite as many things that you can change up as in cheesecakes, but its potential for versatility is still pretty great. Plus, there's that small added bonus of being something I actually enjoy eating...

I just happened to have some pears on hand, thanks to a fantastic package from Hickory Farms (more on that in a moment), so I opted to use them as the bottom-cum-top of my cake. If you'll recall, I've also done a cranberry-walnut combination, one with bananas and rum, and I have an almond version coming up soon, so pretty much any fruit or nut you have on hand could probably work.

About that package: For more than 60 years, Hickory Farms gifts have been a classic holiday tradition that brings family and friends together. Hickory Farms is very proud to be a part of many nostalgic moments and continues to focus on and celebrate its long heritage of tradition and authentic holiday memories. They not only embrace passing down traditions through generations of families, but also creating new traditions and sharing them with loved ones.


The gift box I received (and the one the winner of this giveaway will get) contained beef summer sausage, creamy cheddar cheeses, extra-large Crown Comice® and Red D'Anjou pears, bright Fuji apples, crunchy pistachios and mixed nuts, and delectable chocolate-covered cashews, and a bottle of La Crema Chardonnay. While I gave the sausage and chardonnay to loved ones to sample and have big plans for that cheese, I personally enjoyed all the nuts and obviously put the fruit to good use. As an extra perk, the crate in which the items were delivered is sturdy and will undoubtedly be reused again and again.

You can find delicious Hickory Farms products on their website or in their 700+ Holiday Market stores and kiosks across North America, as well as in select retailers.


If you'd like a chance to win a gift box like the one I've discussed here (a $99.99 value), today's your lucky day. Just leave a comment below telling me one of your family's traditions. You can also like A Southern Grace on Facebook, follow A Southern Grace on Twitter, follow A Southern Grace on Pinterest, and/or tweet about the giveaway. Let me know about each action in a different comment, and be sure to leave an email address if necessary. I'll close the comments in two weeks, on December(!) 1st, and randomly pick the winner, who'll be contacted immediately. Good luck, and happy holidays!

Gifted Pear Upside Down Cake
Based on a Martha recipe
Ingredients:
Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2-3 ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (as thin as possible, really--you don't want 'em crunchy)
Batter:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Directions:
To make the topping, melt butter in the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan over low heat. Add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Swirl to coat the bottom; remove from heat and let cool. Cut pears into 1/4-inch-thick wedges, and arrange them in a circular pattern over the brown-sugar mixture to cover completely; set aside.
To make the batter, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract; beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating to combine. Alternating with the milk, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix, on low speed, just until the flour is incorporated. In a large bowl, beat reserved egg whites and the cream of tartar with a hand mixer until stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the batter. Transfer to skillet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly, being careful not to disturb the pears.
Bake until well browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan, and immediately invert the cake onto a serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review and to facilitate a giveaway. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.

102 comments:

D Schmidt mummytotwoboys said...

One of our favorite traditions is baking cookies for Father Christmas with our children

mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This cake looks delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Gloria Baker said...

look amazing Grace my mom alwsys make cookies for Christmas and now my daughter love make these with her:)

Carolyn Jung said...

Hickory Farms -- now that is a blast from the past. I remember the stores being in every mall when I was growing up and how my Dad would stop in to buy cheese logs and sausages. And of course, how they would hand out samples of cheese on toothpicks, which always made a kid like me quite happy.

Half Baked said...

My mom always makes a huge wreath shaped cinnamon apricot bread for Christmas breakfast. It's my favorite family holiday tradition!

Leah said...

Cookie baking with my niece!

Lisa-Marie said...

I'm assuming that being in the UK, I can't enter, but I just wanted to say RIGHT THERE WITH YOU on the upside down cake (try plum and ginger in a spiced buttermilk cake), it is SO GOOD. This pear one looks gorgeous.

All of our family traditions involve food. I guess some of our biggest are around Christmas - we all have things that are our job to bring.I on on mulled wine and mice pie duty, and sometimes I make the starter!

Foodycat said...

Obvs I can't enter, but acrimony and heartburn are our major family traditions at Christmas.

Upside down cake, however, I love. I remember my grandmother making a pineapple and ginger one, which is weird, because her cooking was generally shite.

Kara said...

It's not the holidays without a pecan pie! Our tradition is that we always have pecan pie on Thanksgiving and Christmas! Fantastic giveaway! Hope I'm lucky!!
Kara

Kara said...

I like A Southern Grace on Facebook!

Kara said...

I follow A Southern Grace on twitter!

Kara said...

I follow A Southern Grace on Pinterest!

Alison Peterson said...

My favorite tradition is having creme de menthe

Alison Peterson said...

Liked you on Facebook

Beth said...

I love upside-down cakes too!
I don't know if I qualify, living in Canada, but just in case I do, one of my favourite Christmas traditions is decorating the tree.

~~louise~~ said...

What a generous give-away Grace. Ah, those Hickory Farm people really know how to make up those gift sets. Marion gets quite a few of them for the holidays. (perhaps it would be better to leave us out of this one:)

Now, that Upside Down Pear Cake of yours is a whole other story. If it was the prize, I would definitely indulge. (I'm surprised to see the cream of tartar in the recipe:)

Thank you so much for sharing, Grace...

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

Our tradition is to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve with lots of snacks and goodies, go to church for midnight Mass
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Guru Uru said...

Good luck to those entering the competition :D
This recipe looks delicious, I would love to devour it!

Cheers
CCU

Evelyn B said...

Our family tradition is singing carols and playing instruments!

Evelyn B said...

I follow on twitter @iAnonymously

Evelyn B said...

I follow on pintrest

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Email:

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Carolyn Gonzalez said...

Every year we make Christmas tamales

Mahdi Martin said...

One of my family's traditions is doing stockings at Christmas for the whole family. We haven't been able to afford to do that for the past couple years, so it's just the kids now!

Schafer Family said...

Like you on Facebook!

Schafer Family said...

Growing up my mom would always buy the summer sausage from H. farms Yum! Also we would bake sugar cookies!

kimbly said...

Our holiday food tradition is my mom's amazing ambrosia - wouldn't be a holiday without it!

Angie Schneider said...

The cake looks wonderful, Grace.

Becki's Whole Life said...

This cake looks wonderful. My husbands favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake so he would love this!

One of my favorite traditions is making homemade eggnog before Christmas dinner and drinking it in fancy punchbowl cups.

I Wilkerson said...

I haven't had upside down cake in years, but I still remember how exciting it was the first time I tasted it. This recipe may be calling for the brandied pluots I put away last summer!

golfnut3903 said...

Love upside down cake, it's most wonderful!!!!

Our family tradition is to fix chili on Christmas Eve and go to a candle light service.

Pam said...

Great giveaway and the upside down cake looks tasty.

One of our family traditions is to either go sledding or skiing on Christmas Eve.

Nickolay said...

Our favorite tradition is going out the afternoon of Black Friday and cutting down our own Christmas Tree! We bring it back and set it up! I look forward to it every year

Linda Owens said...

We go to church on Christmas Eve and when we get home open one present which is always pajamas and eat cookies which the family has made. Can't wait!

Linda Owens said...

I follow on Pinterest

Rosita Vargas said...

Un cake delicioso especial para navidad me encanta tomo nota lo harè,abrazos.

Anonymous said...

wish i did have some good family traditions but i don't.

fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

April was in CT now CA said...

Since we live across the country from family the traditions we once had have had to evolve and change each year. We try to do something new each year though depending on what's going on in our lives.

mary gardner said...

My favorite tradition is baking Holiday cookies with the kids!

mary gardner said...

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mary gardner said...

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mary gardner said...

I follow A Southern Grace on Pinterest as Mary Gardner

mary gardner said...

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Kristen said...

A recently added tradition is making Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake Pie for Thanksgiving.

Katerina said...

Delicious cake Grace! I love pears!

Joanne said...

I don't really do upside down cakes enough. But they are so pretty.

xenacat1 said...

Going to Christmas Eve Mass. Sometimes the incense is a bit much, but it's worth it for the Christmas carols and getting a reminder of the true reason for the season.byh

Barbara said...

Nothing better than an upside down cake, any fruit! Love all that caramel ! This looks delish, Grace.
Family tradition? Oyster stew on Christmas Eve.

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

My mom always makes her Wild Rice Soup for Christmas Eve. Something I always look forward too :)

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

I follow you on facebook!

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

Already following on Pinterest.

Blond Duck said...

That looks awesome!

Frugal Follies said...

We always get together with family! Thanks so much for the great giveaway! thefrugalfollies at gmail dot com

Frugal Follies said...

Following @asoutherngrace on Twitter as @frugalfollies - thefrugalfollies at gmail dot com

Frugal Follies said...

I tweeted about the giveaway - https://twitter.com/frugalfollies/status/403176580727316482 - thefrugalfollies at gmail dot com

The Giggling Gull said...

We had a tradition of making rosettes on Christmas Eve. I regret I have not carried that tradition into the home I have established with my husband.

Lisa A said...

One of my Favorite Thanksgiving traditions is gathering for a family Christmas card photo shoot after dinner! :)

lisa is cooking said...

I love upside down cakes! And, pears make one especially pretty.

Debbie Jackson said...

our tradition is football on the lawn before a huge turkey roddjackson at hotmail dot com

Debbie Jackson said...

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Debbie Jackson said...

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margo B. said...

baking the gingerbread cookies

keevon82 said...

our Thanksgiving tradition is that we write down what we're thankful for on a piece of paper and we hang them on our Christmas tree

keevon82 said...

following on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/jeevon/

Alexis said...

My favorite tradition is baking and decorating spritz cookies wiht my grandma- who is now in her 80's but wouldn't miss it for the world!

Betsy Barnes said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is opening one present on Christmas Eve, usually it's pj's or perfume :)

pinktaz60(at)hotmail(dot)com

Betsy Barnes said...

I "like" A Southern Grace on Facebook as Betsy Barnes :)

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Betsy Barnes said...

I follow A Southern Grace on Twitter as @bbarnes60 :)

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Betsy Barnes said...

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Betsy Barnes said...

Tweet: https://twitter.com/bbarnes60/status/404092126666833920 :)

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Ashley said...

We always get new PJs for Christmas Eve.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

Like you on facebook.

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Ashley said...

Follow you on twitter.

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Susan C said...

Eat lasagna & go bowling!

Susan C said...

Follow you on Pinterest - susitravl

Allison Downes said...

We normally bake goodies together and put up decorations

Thank you for the chance to win!

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Allison Downes said...

Following you on Pinterest | Allison Downes

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Allison Downes said...

Tweeted:

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♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I like you on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson
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♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I follow you on Pinterest as cezovski9
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♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I follow you on Twitter as @MsCarolsueA
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♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I tweeted
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1froglegs said...

We don't have any particular family traditions now that we are away from our family, but I had an aunt that used to mail us a Hickory Farms basket every Christmas. We always enjoyed sampling the different products, most of which were foreign to us kids.

1froglegs said...

I like you on facebook as David Lintz

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1froglegs said...

tweeted at https://twitter.com/1froglegs/status/404758609105416192

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kimbly said...

Our family tradition is making my mom's ambrosia for the holidays - it is amazing

kimbly said...

I follow on twitter as kimbly1020

Robyn L said...

My favorite tradition is baking cookies and decorating boxes as gifts for everyone.

Robyn L said...

I "Liked" you on Facebook

Robyn L said...

I follow you on Twitter

Robyn L said...

I follow you on Pinterest!

Eva Kosmas said...

I have been on such a pear kick lately (pear turkey, pear bunts, just straight fresh pears) that this would round out my addiction entirely. I love the presentation, too. Just stunning!

Marianna said...

We always get together for Christmas brunch instead of dinner
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Marianna said...

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cassandra sudduth said...

We always make goodies and give them out as gifts!

Follow on FB(cassie sudduth), Follow on Pinerest(csudduth1969), Follow on Twitter(@csudduth1)

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