Monday, November 13, 2017
It's been pumpkin time for quite a while now. It seems it begins each year just a little earlier than the year before. I love pumpkin. I really, really do. That being said, you can most definitely have too much of a good thing. Enter the white pumpkin.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I'm in the throes of menu planning and shopping, and this year as I looked at the uncarved white pumpkin on my porch, I thought, "Why not?" It turns out you can make a pumpkin pie from just about any pumpkin you can purchase, including the white variety.
The flavor is milder and sweeter than that of a traditional orange pumpkin, and so surprisingly different that I've had requests to make this one for Thanksgiving Day. I am more than happy to oblige! This pumpkin variety is so sweet in fact, I am using sweetened condensed milk and no sugar. This changes the usual baking time, so read carefully! Please taste your pumpkin puree to decide whether or not you want to add sugar. Add sugar to the puree first and check before making the filling.
Now, you don't run to the store and simply pull white pumpkin puree from the shelf, you make it in the usual way. You can find instructions for that here: Which Pumpkin? All pumpkins are edible, but some are more tasy than others. Follow the general rules for which pumpkin to cook, and you'll be fine.
On to that crust! I was greeted one day in my local Giant food store's vestibule by a bag of UTZ Holiday Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks. I love these things. They are very mild in flavor and lightly sweet, but with all the delicious crunch of the usual UTZ pretzel. On their own, they are lovely, but as a pie crust? A whole new dimension of texture an flavor. I though this would pair well with the white pumpkin, and I was right. If you are not able to find these, you can use any pretzel for the crust.
White Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Pretzel Crust
Makes one 9-inch pie
1 1/2 cups finely crushed UTZ Holiday Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter - melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups white pumpkin puree
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk!)
2 large eggs
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (this is to your liking)
For the crust:
1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Press into the bottom and sides of a well-greased 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.
For the Filling:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
3, Pour into prepared crust.
4. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until pie does not jiggle when touched.
5. Cool for 1 hour then refrigerate before serving.
Monday, November 06, 2017
Everyone has a food that takes them instantly back to their childhood with a single bite. For me it's these rolls. Served at every large family gathering, they were gone before they cooled and it's still the same way today in our home. These are perfect for Thanksgiving, which is just around the corner here in the United States.
Aunt Dorothy's Refrigerator Yeast Rolls*
Serves: Makes 3 dozen rolls
1 packet dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 large egg
8 cups all-purpose flour
1. Combine 1/2 cup of the warm water with yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Let rest for 5 minutes until bubbly.
2. Add remaining 2 cups of water to yeast mixture along with butter, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and butter has melted.
3. Beat egg lightly and add to water along with 1 cup of flour. Stir until well blended.
4. Add in remaining flour, a cup at a time, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon until no more flour can be added. Knead in remaining flour with hands, a 1/4 cup at a time until dough is smooth and elastic - about 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Put dough back into bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours but not more than 48 hours.
6. When you are ready to bake rolls, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F, punch down dough and portion into 36 equal pieces. Shape dough into rolls and put into greased muffin tins. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
7. Once rolls are doubled, brush with olive oil or egg wash (1 egg and 2 tablespoons water blended well) and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
*Aunt Dorothy was my grandfather's sister-in-law. I absolutely adored her and my uncle, Hershel. She was sweet and quiet, which was necessary as my uncle took the spotlight every time we visited. He was a real hoot, definitely a story for another time.