Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin: Pumpkin Custard Pie

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!

Grandma Linny's pumpkin custard pie

3 eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3 cups pumpkin
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups milk, total (use 1 can evaporated milk and then the rest regular milk)
cinnamon, for topping

This recipe makes two 9 inch pies, or three 8 inch pies
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk.
- In a small bowl mix sugar and cornstarch together until there are no lumps.
- Add sugar and starch to eggs, mix well.
- Add the pumpkin to the bowl and, once again, be sure to mix well.
- Melt the butter in a pan, then allow to cool slightly.
- Combine the milk and butter.
- Stir milk and butter into the pumpkin, mix VERY well.
- Pour into pie shells and top with cinnamon.

Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes first, then bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes. A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean.

This pie is not spicy, like a traditional pumpkin pie, and the consistency is different. However, this is the pie my family makes for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so when I think holidays I think this pie. Pumpkin custard is one of the greatest creations ever, at least in my opinion. 

Pumpkin custard (variation)
1 can pumpkin (or equivalent, approximately 1 little baking pumpkin per pie)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
cinnamon, for topping 

This recipe makes one pie worth of custard, bake at 350 degrees F. until firm
- Beat the eggs, then add sugar.
- Add pumpkin and mix well.
- Melt the butter and then add it to the milk.
- Add milk and butter to the pumpkin bowl, mix well.
- Top with cinnamon

This recipe works in either a pie or just for a bowl or casserole dish of pumpkin custard. To know if it is done, do the jiggle test (mentioned here) or insert a knife and see if it comes out clean.  If you really prefer spiced pumpkin desserts, feel free to add whatever spices strike your fancy to the mixture before you bake it (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, etc.). 

Recipes from my family!
I took pictures of a pie my roommate made

Tata for now,
L. Mousse

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin: Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Finally, something savory.

Cream of pumpkin soup

2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups pumpkin, cooked
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Coriander, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a pot
- Add minced garlic and carrots to melted butter, simmer until carrots are soft.
- Add pumpkin, stir, then add milk, stir.
- Gently bring mixture to a boil.
- Add maple syrup and spices.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Put soup in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
Serve hot.

This recipe does not produce a large quantity of soup. If you are planning on serving more than three or four people I would suggest making a double batch. The soup itself is fluffy and creamy, which I really like about it. Remember not to leave it unattended, as dairy based soups are prone to boil over at any moment. It is definitely a savory soup, but the maple syrup brings out just a touch of the pumpkin's sweetness to create a delicious mix of sweet and salty flavors.

Sorry it was so long between updates, my computer decided to go into a coma for a few days.

Also, I made up this recipe, so no outside credit is due.

Tata for now,
L. Mousse

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin: Spicy Pumpkin Casserole

Spicy pumpkin and hazelnut dessert casserole

16 ounces of pumpkin
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups half-and-half 
3 eggs
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Whipped cream for topping

Grease a one and a half quart casserole dish  and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put pumpkin in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix brown sugar, salt, and spices in a separate small bowl, then add to the pumpkin. 
- In another bowl, whisk together half-and-half and eggs until frothy. 
- Add cream mixture to pumpkin and blend until smooth (it will be a liquid of sorts).
- Pour mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle the hazelnuts on top.
- Drizzle the melted butter over everything.
- Cook for 50 to 55 minutes 
- Let cool, then top with whipped cream!

This dish is basically a custard. To check if it is done you can do the traditional test of sticking a knife or fork into it and seeing if it comes out clean, or you can do the jiggle test and shake the dish in the oven; if it is really jiggly, it isn't done yet. This dish is very very hazelnutty. If you like/love hazelnuts this is the dish for you. Overall, it is a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie or sweet potato casserole. I personally am not such a big hazelnut fan, so when I make this again I may cut the amount of nuts in half, or use pecans.

- credit -
From the  "Crazy for Casseroles" cookbook.

Tata for now,
L. Mousse 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin: Pumpkin Nut Muffins

Pumpkin nut muffins with Orange juice icing

Pumpkin nut muffins
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground/grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup chopped nuts (I suggest pecans or walnuts)

Set oven to 350 degrees F. and grease muffin tin.
- Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
- Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, mix well.
- Add pumpkin and vanilla, beat till smooth.
- Fold nuts into batter, then fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for around 30 minutes.

I used a mixture of pecans and walnuts because I didn't have enough of either on hand. The combination was delicious. I imagine other types of nuts would taste just as wonderful, so experiment!

Orange juice icing
1/4 cup of butter (half a stick) room temp.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 egg white
Pinch of salt

I suggest getting one orange and using it for both the zest and the juice.
- Cream sugar and butter until fluffy.
- Beat in orange zest and orange juice, set aside.
- In another bowl, beat egg white and salt until it forms stiff peaks.
- Fold egg whites into sugar mixture, then spread on cooled muffins.

I found that this icing was good for a simple spreading decoration. It was not stiff enough to make designs that would hold. Feel free to try adding more powdered sugar if you want a more firm icing effect. 

The original recipe I used was for "cupcakes," but I found the result to be much more of a muffin. In light of such, in my rendition of the recipe I have re-named it as such. These are really delicious and taste of fall. Perfect for a brunch out under the changing leaves.

Both recipes from the "Cupcakes Galore" cookbook.

Tata for now,
L. Mousse