Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Pumpkin Bars with Streusel Crust

November 20, 2012

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.


Perfect Pumpkin Bread

January 24, 2012

This is the pumpkin bread recipe you need. Sweet and moist, but not too sweet, spicy, but not overbearingly so–this irresistible pumpkin bread has been winning accolades for my mom. She made it for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge success. So much so that my mom decided to bake it for other occasions.  Now, she is asked to bring it all the time and it is rapidly becoming a signature dessert.

The recipe comes from Lunch ‘Til Four, a cookbook put together by the sisterhood of Young Israel of West Hempstead. This cookbook, incidentally, is full of wonderful recipes. One of the recipe contributors is Michele Friedman, the author of Chef’s Confidential.

This pumpkin bread is almost exactly the same as Irene’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, except that Irene uses allspice instead of nutmeg and 12 ounces of chocolate chips instead of nuts and raisins. Plus, Irene uses a slightly different mixing method, adding the sugar to the dry ingredients.


Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake

November 18, 2011

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.


Spicy Sweet Roast Kabocha

October 24, 2011

Kabocha . . . ka-bow-chah. A pretty green-skinned orange-fleshed winter squash. Tastes delicious sliced and roasted with warm fall spices and a little brown sugar. The only hard part is slicing the squash–use a sharp knife and be careful! (next time I may roast it whole for 15 minutes to soften it for slicing) The skin is edible–no need to peel.


Not Another Carrot Kugel . . . (Pumpkin Muffins)

September 21, 2011

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.


Pumpkin Spice Mandelbread Thins with Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries

December 13, 2009

Here is a new version of Almondina-like biscotti (for a version with apricots, craisins, pistachios, and almonds, see here). This version is flavored with pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon).

I used powdered egg white powder to make these, so I did not have leftover egg yolks. But, if I did, I would so want to make the recipe from the November Bon Appetit for Spiced Brandy Semifreddo with Cranberries. The recipe says that this frozen white chocolate mousse, flavored with rum, brandy, and nutmeg, should be served with a crisp cookie or biscotti. Perfect!  (more…)

Easy as Pie

December 1, 2008

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
3 eggs
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.

Pumpkin Corn Muffins

October 7, 2008

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
pinch allspice
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.