Having turned my pecan pie into bar cookies, I decided to do the same with my pumpkin pie. I used the same crust recipe as for the pecan bars, but used brown sugar and added in a little cinnamon to give the dough a streusel flavor.
Archive for the ‘pumpkin’ Category
This is a great cake to make if:
(a) a guest/ family member is vegan, has an egg allergy, or dairy allergy;
(b) you need a quick, easy pareve dessert for Thanksgiving; or
(c) you need to make dessert, but you have absolutely nothing in the refrigerator (no eggs, butter or milk).
This the pumpkin version of wacky cake (also known as Amazon cake, Moosewood’s vegan chocolate cake, or witch’s brew cake). You mix flour with spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, you mix pumpkin puree, water, oil and a little vinegar. Wet and dry get mixed together to make a thick, vegan cake batter.
The original recipe calls for topping the moist, dense cake with a cream cheese frosting. The cake is served ice cold from the refrigerator. The taste sensation of cold spicy orange cake and cream cheese frosting is reminiscent of carrot cake. I had no trouble making a dairy-free “cream cheese” frosting with Tofutti “cream cheese,” but you could also leave this unfrosted or pour over a simple glaze.
File this recipe away–it is extremely handy. Not only does it come together in seconds, it relies exclusively on common pantry items (oil, canned pumpkin, flour, sugar, etc.). The only refrigerated item is the Tofutti for the frosting, but you could skip that if needed.
Most people have a fall back super easy chocolate cake, but would you believe that there are people who can’t eat chocolate? Well, there are. And they may end up being your last minute guests. As long as they aren’t also gluten-intolerant, this cake is perfect for them. Just make sure that you don’t have any soy-allergic guests if you go with the Tofutti frosting.
For Yom Tov, I made a batch of pumpkin muffins. I’m having company, and I thought I should make something like the carrot muffins that are so incredibly popular. It seems like most meals I have been invited to have included mini carrot muffins for the kids. If you have little orange muffins and puff pastry mini hot dogs, it is a happy, happy day for the little ones.
I think these pumpkin muffins are even tastier than the usual carrot muffin or carrot kugel. The recipe has a higher than usual amount of eggs, which give the muffin interior a lush, moist, but not soggy interior.
Just like last year, I made Nick Malgieri’s Breton Apple Pie for Thanksgiving. I cut the recipe for dough by a third (I pressed the dough into an 8″ round pan instead of a 10″ pan), but made the full amount of apple filling. I think this was the right ratio of apple to crust.
Instead of making pumpkin pie and pecan pie, I made Vera’s Pumpkin Mousse Cake with Maple Whipped Cream Topping. A lot of work, but so worth it. My changes to Vera’s recipe: (1) 2 Tbl. bourbon, 2 Tbl. water, and 1 Tbl. vanilla instead of brandy in the filling; (2) Kojel instead of gelatin; (3) glazed pecans instead of candied ginger on top; and (4) Rich’s Whip (dairy-free) instead of cream. I used a 3″ wide acetate strip as a liner in my springform pan, and it was the perfect height for the cake, filling, and topping. (more…)
For Thanksgiving my sole responsibility was bringing dessert. I brought pecan pie, apple Breton (a kind of French apple pie), and pumpkin pie.
My pecan pie recipe is from Nick Malgieri. The recipe as posted on Food Network calls for 3 ounces of butter, but I have another version of this recipe from Nick that calls for 4 ounces. I used just 2 ounces and it was fine. Also the Food Network version calls for 2 cups of pecans, but the version of this recipe that I have calls for 12 ounces. I haven’t measured, so I am not sure whether or not this is the same.
I once served this pie to a hard-to-please southerner and it got high praise, and I have been sticking to the recipe ever since. It is good with chocolate chips added in, too.
My pumpkin pie was originally Nick’s, too. I have tweaked it considerably. The original recipe was more or less the same as Nick’s sweet potato pie (notice the reference to pumpkin). I used homemade pumpkin puree this year, and it seemed a little thin, so I added in some roasted sweet potato and left out any other added liquid. I also added in some allspice.
This Year’s Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 cups homemade roasted pumpkin puree
1/2 cup roasted sweet potato puree
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
Combine all and pour into a pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
The apple Breton is from Nick, too. I cut down the recipe so that I could make it in an 8″ round pan instead of a 10″ pan. I have made this many times. It is better with butter (of course), but the lemon rind in the dough makes it remarkably tasty with margarine. Sometimes I let the sugar caramelize before adding the apples. That adds an extra dimension of flavor, too. I used two-thirds of the ingredients, which was perfect for a 8″ pan. I wished I had made the full amount of filling instead of cutting the amount down, though.
It was so good, I made a simple apple galette on Friday. I used up the golden delicious apples I had left over from the Breton recipe and tossed in a gala apple, too. The crust was half the recipe from the Crisco container. I had some egg wash in the fridge from the Breton and used that, too.
Easy Apple Galette
3 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/8- 1/4 tps. cinnamon
1 tps. lemon juice
extra sugar for sprinkling on crust
egg wash for crust
3/4 cup flour
4 Tbl. Crisco
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 Tbl. ice water
Combine the apple slices with the sugar and add a bit of cinnamon and a drop of lemon juice. Make the crust following the instructions at the Crisco site (also see video). Roll the crust out very thin on parchment paper. Mound the apples in the center of what should be a rough 10-11″ circle. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples to partially cover them. The center of the galette will remain exposed. Brush the galette with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees (375 degrees in convection mode) until crust is golden and apples are soft, about 1 hour.
The pumpkin corn kugel was delicious, but dense like pumpkin pie instead of fluffy like carrot kugel. Wondering how it would taste if it were cake-ier, I decided to combine the kugel recipe with the pumpkin cake, pumpkin challah, and Homestead Cornbread recipes to make a pumpkin corn muffin.
I took the cornbread recipe, cut it down by a third, and swapped in 1 cup of pumpkin puree for 2/3 cup of the soy milk. I added in some of the spices from the other pumpkin recipes (cinnamon, ginger, allspice) and changed the sweetener from all white sugar to almost equal amounts of dark brown sugar, white sugar, and honey. For an extra hit of color, texture, and flavor, I added in dried cranberries and golden raisins.
After coming up with a recipe, I quickly checked Allrecipes to see if anyone else had tried to make pumpkin cornbread or pumpkin corn muffins. There was a recipe for pumpkin cornbread and a recipe from Libby’s that looked a lot like my test recipe, but without the spices and with an extra egg. That was good. I added in an extra egg to my recipe. But the Libby’s recipe got mixed reviews. Not so good. The complaints were that the muffins were bland. Reviewers for the pumpkin cornbread also complained of blandness and insufficient sweeteness. Hoping that the spices and sweeteners I added in would compensate, I forged ahead.
The muffins were excellent. I think more spice might have been better, but I’m not sure. I will need to taste them again later. The color was nice, they were moist. They were sweet without being cloying, and there was just enough salt.
I’m not sure about the dried cranberries. They were tasty and pretty, but they definitely slant the muffins towards dessert and away from being useful as a dinnertime bread item. One allrecipe poster served her pumpkin corn muffins with chili–that is a smart idea. If I do go with the dried fruit again, I might add more, and I might add chopped pecans.
Note: The pumpkin effect is subtle, even with spices added in to highlight it. Mom’s comment: “Yum! Is that a dried cranberry?! Mmmm. These are pumpkin? Really?”
Pumpkin Corn Muffins
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup vanilla soy milk
3/4 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
3 Tbl. sugar
3 Tbl. dark brown sugar
2 Tbl. honey
1/3 cup corn or safflower oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 – 1 tsp. kosher salt (1/2 tsp. regular table salt)
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with foil liners (or use paper liner, or grease the pans). The yield should be about 1 1/2 dozen muffins, so you will need three pans with 6 cups or the equivalent.
Combine the cornmeal and soy milk in a medium sized bowl, and let the mixture soak for five minutes. Add in the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, dark brown sugar, honey, and oil.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking powder, and salt). Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin cornmeal mixture. Stir in the raisins, if using.
Divide the batter between the lined muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes.
yield: 16 to 18 muffins
Update: After a day the muffins tasted a bit drier than I would like, which could be for the following reasons:
(1) Okay, they are a day old. But the Homestead Cornbread stays moist and fresh for a couple of days.
(2) Maybe I miscalculated the substitution of pumpkin for soy milk. Maybe I should add another 1/4 cup of soy milk to the recipe.
(3) Maybe I baked the muffins too long. Maybe I should reduce the cooking time by five minutes.
(4) Maybe corn muffins just get drier than cornbread baked in pan because more surface area is exposed. Maybe I should try to make this recipe in pan instead of as muffins.
Another issue is that the muffins do not taste very pumpkin-ey. This is more obvious after a day of aging. Maybe the solution is to up the spices. Maybe it is primarily the spices, combined with the color, that causes people to think “pumpkin.”
On the other hand, maybe this isn’t a problem at all. I originally made the Homestead Cornbread because my husband raved about the cornbread at Smokey Joe’s (Teaneck, NJ). The Homestead Cornbread is much lighter in color and texture than the Smokey Joe’s cornbread, but the Homestead Cornbread was universally judged superior by family and friends. The pumpkin cornbread tastes just like the Smokey Joe’s cornbread, confirming my suspicion that Smokey Joe’s uses dark brown sugar or honey as a sweetener. Now I am actually wondering if they use pumpkin, too. But, no, that can’t be. All I have to do to make the pumpkin cornbread taste precisely like the Smokey Joe’s version is to add in drained corn niblets instead of the raisins and dried cranberries.
Update two: I realize that I used only 3/4 cup pumpkin mixture (I corrected the above recipe, which originally called for 1 cup of pumpkin). I tried this recipe again with an extra 1/4 cup of liquid and with the drained corn niblets. Instead of using muffin cups, I baked it in a baking pan. Not good! Dense, gummy, and bland.
I made pumpkin pie and pumpkin challah for the holiday.
Here is something I have to try next. My friend is serving this on lunch on Yom Tov, so I will have to post again when I have tried it. It sounds like pumpkin cornbread or cake.
two or three 9×13 8×8 pans, 350 degrees, 45 minutes
large can of pumpkin puree
1 1/2 Tbl. baking powder
2 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
drop of honey
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups soy milk
1 1/2 cups oil
cinnamon for sprinkling on top
Accidentally left out the oil and it was even better:
Pumpkin Cornbread Kugel
1 cup sugar (7.5 ounces)14.5 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 Tbl. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cornmeal (4 ounces)
generous drizzle of honey
1 1/4 cups flour (5.5 ounces)
3/4 cup soy milk
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add the cornmeal and baking powder and stir well. Drizzle over some honey and sprinkle over a pinch or two of cinnamon and mix that in. Add the flour in three parts, alternating with adding the soy milk in three parts.
Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle over a little cinnamon.
Bake the kugel at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the kugel is set on top.
It sounds like the Homesteader Cornbread on allrecipes:
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Update: Made and loved by my sister, who used three square pans.