Today I had the pleasure of working with our local Meetup – Santa Barbara Food and Farm Adventurers in giving a canning class to a group of fantastic women. Our local meetup is really bringing me closer to why I have always love living here in Santa Barbara and the amazing people who are participating in making this town a more sustainable community.  The ladies came from different backgrounds with a lot of diversity of tastes and all with different reasons to come to learn either for the first time or continue their knowledge of water bath canning.

The class was two hours and I hopefully got the key points across to them about the safety issues as well as how much fun it can be. I shared the recipe for Zucchini Salsa, which is on this blog, because it was a easy recipe for them to really see how using ingredients from our gardens can be preserved in different ways. It smelled and looked fantastic. I also shared with them the persimmon butter, sweet and spicy nuts, and my newest recreation from an idea from the blog the Wink, the pear preserve upside down cake. It seemed to be a success with the group and wanted to share it with everyone.

The basic premise is to use either half empty jars of preserves you have in the frigerator or to open jars to add a special touch to an ordinary cake. It is a very simple recipe and other than your cake box or scratch recipe you only add your creations from the jars. Cake flavors are your own imagination with the preserves you want to use. Some ideas are spice cake with the carrot cake jam or chocolate cake with a strawberry preserve. This recipe works better with a preserve or jam that has pieces or bits of fruit in it.

Preserve Cake

In a 9″ cake pan pour the contents of your open or newly opened preserve jar. You can use a half pint jar but the cake will be too soogy if you use a whole pint. If you have a few jars open you can use both putting each on half the pan. Make the cake batter from scratch or your box and slowly pour the mix in the cake pan making sure to completely cover the bottom. Cook the cake as per the recipes instructions. (Usually 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes) Once the cake is done let it cool for about 20 minutes.

Using a flat cake plate place the plate over the top and invert the cake onto the plate lifting the pan slowly exposing the top which is now the yummy preserve topping. Continue to let the cake cool, cover and put into the frig.

I used a vanilla cake and made one with my lemon/lime marmalade and the other with my Uncles recipe for Pear Preserve.

I hope that Gerri, Angelika, Jeanne, Dawn, Connie, Katie, and Carole all enjoyed the class as much as I enjoyed sharing with them.  Happy Holidays