While standing in line at the grocery store, I have noticed an abundance of magazine covers featuring Fall Baking. The covers bring to mind pumpkins, apples, warm mugs of cider and cooler weather. Maybe needing to don a sweatshirt to take the chill off. Seems dreamy, snug in the kitchen baking apple muffins as a cool breeze stirs the fallen leaves outside….
Back to our Treasure Coast reality, so far most fall days around here the temperatures have been in the 90’s, the air steamy with humidity and our afternoons punctuated with thundershowers. You are unlikely to find any apples on trees in your neighborhood and for the most part we are too far south to grow pumpkins.
What is growing on trees around here is Papayas – a neighbor has been giving me gigantic Papayas from his garden. I cut one up and got several cups of chopped fruit, more than we can reasonably eat so I decided to do some fall baking, Treasure Coast style.
Papaya Raisin Nut Bread. This quick bread is easy to bake and freezes well. I slice mine in half pieces before I freeze it so I can eat it with a side of vanilla yogurt. Here is the recipe:
Papaya Raisin Nut Bread
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be used)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped papaya
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard size loaf pan.
Mix the sugars and oil until smooth, add eggs and milk and stir until combined. Add baking soda and cinnamon to flour and combine, add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until smooth. Fold nuts and raisins into batter followed by chopped papaya. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until browned and a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Leave bread in pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Slice after bread is cool.
The scent of cinnamon and raisins wafting from the oven gives a true fall baking vibe to the kitchen and the Papaya makes the bread something a locavore will love.
If only we could find some trees with leaves changing colors for fall. Actually, there are a few Red Maples to be found – keep your eyes peeled.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia and extraordinarily well seasoned Landscape Architect/Designer/Writer. I began bouncing around South Florida in the late 1980’s selecting and buying plants for Shopping Mall Interiors I had designed.
Eventually my college roommate landed in Hobe Sound and I came to visit and fell in love with the Treasure Coast. My husband was on the verge of retiring from the practice of Architecture so we came down, bought a house near the Indian River and left the big city’s cold and the traffic far behind.
The blog began as an effort to fill what I considered a vacuum in good gardening information for the Treasure Coast. The Shrub Queen name is a nod to a long standing joke, my husband has called me this for years after one too many Architects asked me to “shrub something up”.