Thursday, December 4, 2008

thanksgiving, parts III and IV

I really just don't want thanksgiving to end. It's like autumn Passover for me, except you can eat anything you want. I didn't make any desserts for our actually thanksgiving meal, but have been doing the pumpkin thing since. If i was a real foodie, I'd have gone out and bought a bunch of expensive sugar pumpkins, and roasted and pureed them myself. apparently i'm not a good foodie, since i buy canned pumpkin. it's good and available. and it's time for dessert.

a few months ago a friend brought this to a potluck, where I begged and pleaded for the recipe. Yes, it's that good. and easier than it looks to make. I lowered the sugar a little from her original recipe, and upped some of the spices.

N's Pumpkin Apple Bread
makes 2 loaves

3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1 can pumpkin puree (about 16 oz)
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beated
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large baking apple (such as gala or granny smith), peeled, cored and diced

cinnamon sugar topping
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter, room temp
2 tsp cinnamon

for the topping combine all ingredients with a fork to form a crumbly mixture. set aside.

preheat oven to 350. grease and lightly flour two 9x5 loaf pans. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and allspice. In another large bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, eggs and oil. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and blend well, then fold in the apples. The batter should be very wet. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, and smooth the tops flat. sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. bake at 350 for about an hour. when a knife or toothpick comes out clean, it's done. let cook in pans for about 15 minutes, then finish cooling them on wire racks.

We've been using the Joy of Cooking Pumpking Pie recipe for years, and I was never quite happy with it. the custard never seemed to firm up quite right, and it was just too much pumpkin puree to not enough flour and egg binder. Martha Stewart dot com to the rescue! Again, i upped her quantities of spices, and used my brand new, totally awesome ceramic pie weights for the best crust ever.

Better Pumpkin Pie
Makes One Pie

one pie crust fitted to a 9" pie plate
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 can pumpkin (15-16 oz)
1 cup half and half

form crust to pie plate, and refridgerate for about an hour. preheat oven to 350. Line pie crust with wax paper or foil, and gently fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Remove crust from oven, and carefully remove lining and pie weights.

in a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt spices, and pumpkin. when well blended, add half and half, and mix again. pour into warm pie crust, and bake till set, about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack at room temperature, and do not refridgerate until fully cooled.

this recipe is simpler, faster, and better than the joy of cooking. Joy of Cooking, you make me sad!

Been getting a LOT of reading done lately, but I'll torture you with that another time.

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