Autumn has made her appearance. All around Prague, the signs of summer have begun to disappear. The tables of our outdoor beer gardens are no longer packed with people and with glass mugs in their hands. The hills of Petrin have exchanged their green leaves for scarlet, yellow, russet and chestnut hues. People walk the streets in layers of long-sleeved sweaters and jackets, no longer able to show off their sun-kissed shoulders.
As my husband and I took the tram up to Jiřího z Poděbrad and joined the Burčák wine festival, (another sign the season is coming to an end,) I wondered if I could truly say goodbye to summer and embrace the Fall. I asked my husband what he thought and during our ride, we listed a few things that we would be looking forward to in this next act of the seasons. I’ll share five of them with you.
Reason 1: Being able to sit out in the Autumn Sun vs. the Summer sun. For me, this means not having to worry about wearing a high amount of sunblock protection and breaking out. For my hubby, that means having to sweat less and be able to bear the sun’s rays.
Reason 2: There will be less tourists in Prague and we can peacefully walk across the Charles Bridge once again without the heavy crowds and traffic of visitors.
Reason 3: My birthday is in October! (I was more excited about this than my hubby, he didn’t think readers would really be interested in this fact. Oh well.)
Reason 4: We both have a great collection of scarves and hats, our favorite accessories! Autumn’s weather forces us to sport them around.
Reason 5: Baking! I love to bake and my husband has no problem enjoying the treats. There is nothing like warming up a home with the scent of baked apples, butter and cinnamon floating throughout the house. Of course, I thought this was the best reason of all.
As an homage to Summer and a toast to Fall, I came up with a cake to celebrate the event of the Autumnal equinox. Since plums are usually associated with summer and pears with the fall, I thought I would pair them together with a touch of cinnamon. It was a delicious match!
Reader…What awaits you this Fall?
Pear Plum Buttermilk Cake (adapted from Bon Apetit’s Berry Buttermilk Cake)
Heat oven to 400˚F/200˚C
Grease an 8 inch circular baking pan
1 small pear, peel, core and cut into 1/4 thick slices
2-3 small plums, slice in half, remove pits and cut into 1/4 thick slices
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick softened butter (50 grams)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat the softened butter with 2/3 cup of white sugar. Beat at high-speed until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla and lastly, the egg.
At low-speed, begin to add a little of the flour mixture and then alternate with the buttermilk. Continue to pour small doses one by one, ending with the flour mixture.
Pour mixture into the pan. Then decorate with the pear and plums, alternating the fruits side by side. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle the mixture over the fruits and batter. Bake for 25 minutes.