When the temperatures soar over the century mark, the last thing I want to do is cook. Baking is definitely out of the question. I do have to feed my family, though – and take care of things that need taking care of.
One of the best parts of my Kansas summers is the fresh produce. That can also be a burden when the tomatoes are pouring off of the counters and they start to attract little fruit flies. I had waited as long as I could, but The Hubs was starting to make mention of the little flying pests, so I knew that I had to do something with the tomatoes first thing this morning. Knowing it was going to be hot I decided I would make homemade ketchup, in the slow cooker. I read through several recipes and took pieces of several to create my own. After cooking on low for the allotted number of hours, it still seems a little bit thin, so I put it back on low to cook overnight. I’ll be sure to post how it turns out!
With the house smelling delicious with the ketchup cooking, the family was getting restless for something to snack on. It was so hot outside that I knew I wasn’t in the mood to do much. Daughter Number Three was pushing me to make “No-Bake Cookies”. I was going to oblige, but she lost interest in that as I was looking up recipes and I lost my helper. Pre-teens… After she wandered off to some other part of the house and I was all alone in the kitchen I decided that I didn’t even want to use the stovetop. I decided to get creative / crazy and make a dump cake. I remember discovering a recipe for “Dump Cake” in a cookbook that my dad helped put together in the mid-80’s. My parent’s didn’t use ‘boxed’ cake mixes so we didn’t have the ingredients on hand. I asked my mom to buy me the ingredients that the recipe called for and I put it together. 2 cans cherry pie filling, 1 white or chocolate cake mix, 1 stick of butter melted. Pour into a baking dish in the order listed, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes – 40 minutes, until cake is ‘done’.
I don’t keep canned pie fillings in my house, but I almost always have a couple of boxed cake mixes in case I need to make “Cake Balls” or “Cake Pops”. I improvised using things I had in the house. This is what I came up with:
Slow Cooker Dump Cake
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 pint apricot jam or preserves
- 1 lemon cake mix
- 1 stick butter, melted
- ¼ cup water
- Nonstick cooking spray
Spray the inside of the slow cooker crock with nonstick spray. Pour in the blueberries and apricot preserves. Stir together gently. Pour the cake mix over the top evenly. Pour the melted butter and water over the cake mix to cover completely. Cook on high for 1 ½ hours and low for 1 ½ hours until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I served this for dessert after a quick dinner of fried hamburgers and fried potatoes. (No healthy eating today!) It was terrific to serve the burgers topped with onions and fresh tomatoes from the garden. I did scoop a bit of the homemade ketchup onto my burger. I really hope it thickens up tonight! The family all liked the slow cooker cake. The Hubs said that the ice cream was a good touch, because it cut the tartness of the lemon cake and the apricot. The girls didn’t seem to mind the tartness. Daughter Number Four had to be admonished for sticking her spoon back into the slow cooker. (She was only admonished after she had been asked nicely to stop 3 times.)
I’m glad that my little creative experiment worked out. It was nice to have a fresh dessert, even on a hot day!
This creation certainly was not the pinnacle of my creative success, but I will definitely be sharing the idea with anyone who loves using a slow cooker or want to bake something on a hot, hot day!