Los Angeles can be a tricky place to try a fall recipe – often because autumn can mean temperatures in the 90s into October. However, this year, we have had an unusually cool summer, and it is giving me hope that cranking our gas stove to 475 degrees won’t be much of an issue. This has inspired me to get out the cookbooks to pick my five “must-try” fall recipes in September.
For people who have been cooking and baking enthusiasts throughout adult-hood, you might think setting out culinary goals sounds strange. But before the pandemic, I very rarely baked anymore. I grew up baking with my mother, but it wasn’t something I chose to do as an adult. March 2020 certainly changed that as my husband and I found baking and cooking to be one of our favorite stress outlets. We are determined to keep learning and trying new things.
So, here are my must-try fall recipes for September:
Warm Fig and Chocolate Sponge Cake Fall Recipe
We were gifted some right-off-the-tree figs from our friend Kira at our latest wine club. While we have undoubtedly been enjoying them as they are, I know that this is an excellent opportunity to try a new fall recipe. This “Warm Fig and Chocolate Sponge Cake” recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi featured in New York Times Cooking has definitely caught my eye. It might be a little advanced for me, but I’m game (at least right now). Also, it seems like a worthy match to welcome back the Great British Bake Off.
No-Knead 14-Hour Rustic Bread Recipe
This is a recipe that I shared with you earlier. I continue to refine it, and we promised a friend at wine club that we’d share our next batch. It’s such a simple recipe, and the 14-hours standing time adds so much flavor. What can I say? I’m hooked on this recipe, and I can’t wait to see where we take it next.
Persian Herb Frittata (Kuku Sabzi)
Our AeroGarden and additional container gardens have offered up some incredible herbs so far this fall. We have a treasure trove of chives, dill, and Italian parsley that is just waiting to be effectively used. This Kuku Sabzi recipe from The Kitchn seems perfect (although we are likely to skip over the cilantro and just add in the extra parsley so that we can keep everything fresh from the garden). Plus, I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to add more turmeric into meals. This one will be Andy’s doing – he’s the chef, while I lean more toward baking. Luckily, he is looking forward to putting farm fresh eggs from the Farmers’ Market to the test.
Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Pear, and Blue Cheese
I’ve been considering making Focaccia ever since I saw the recipe for an easy one in Bonnie Ohara’s “Bread Baking for Beginners” that I shared with you earlier. This “Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Pear, and Blue Cheese” fall recipe comes from Food & Wine, and I’m pretty tempted. It celebrates the Bosc pears that are ripening all around town, as well as the simple delights of crumbled blue cheese and thoroughly satisfying Focaccia. This looks like a recipe that Andy and I will have to work on together – otherwise, you know that I will char rather than caramelize those onions. Still, it looks like a challenge that will showcase some of the best flavors of the season. And if we can’t manage to get it right, we might just have to hunt it down at one of the local restaurants.
Perfect Apple Pie Fall Recipe
Until the end of October, the people of Southern California will flock to locations like Julian, California, to go apple picking. While we probably won’t get out there this year because of our lingering travel concerns, I feel like we could turn to our local Farmers’ Market to source some wonderfully tart apples to make the “Perfect Apple Pie” recipe from my mother’s “Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook” that came out in 1962. Every time I see the cookbook’s cover, I can’t help but smile and think of mom. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this pie (when done well) is terrific! It is challenging, and it has been a long time since I’ve tried a lattice top, but I think I’m going to give it a whirl. Update: I did it! You can find the recipe, photos, and tips here.
These are the baking/cooking goals that celebrate September’s bounty and our desire to keep the kitchen humming. Wish us luck!