Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

Pumpkin...pumpkin...who wants something with pumpkin in it???  Yum!  We love pumpkin, and this week I processed 2 pumpkins to use in recipes.  I used a new technique to cook them and it was so much quicker; I've included it for you this week.  Likely if you are going to process pumpkin this fall you have already done so, but maybe bookmark it for next fall.  And if you've never processed a pumpkin before and your family loves pumpkin recipes (breads, muffins, cookies, pie, pancakes...) then you should definitely try this next autumn!

So yes, I processed our pumpkins to use not only for Thanksgiving pies in a few weeks (pumpkin freezes beautifully), but of course we used it in a few other things as well this week.  We made a pumpkin pie, a batch of pumpkin squares, and tried a new pumpkin pancake recipe.  The pancakes were a hit!  The first keeper of the week.

We did a lot of cooking, but primarily some of our favorite recipes from the blog.  I did the really long slow cooker pork recipe not only so we could eat it for dinner this week, but also so that I could freeze it away for use in quesadillas in the new year when things get really busy!  We had friends over for dinner and had chicken Parmesan pasta (but used pasta noodles instead of spaghetti and it worked great!).

The second keeper this week was Dutch Apple Pie.  I couldn't believe how quickly this came together!  It tasted like an apple crumble but it sliced like a pie.  I will definitely make this again.  Each bite tasted like fall!

Happy Cooking!

New Recipes
Dutch Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pancakes
How to process pumpkin

Dutch Apple Pie

* 2 cups AP flour
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
* 3/4 cup butter
* 4 apples, peeled and diced
* 4 tbsp AP flour
* 4 tbsp sugar
* 2 tsp cinnamon

1. In a large bowl mix the first four ingredients.  Set aside 1 cup and then press the rest into an ungreased 9inch pie plate.
2. Mix the apples with the flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in the pie crust.
3. Top the apples with the reserved crumb mixture.
4. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

I am not a huge traditional pie crust fan, so this pie recipe intrigued me.  The filling that went with the pie looked a little strange so I adjusted it to my preference and ended up with this simple filling.  I used 2 granny smith apples and 2 honeycrisp apples.  This pie was easy to put together since there is no crust to roll out - you simply press it in the pie plate.  I made this one weeknight "just because" and it was a hit.  I will definitely make this again!

Pumpkin Pancakes

* 2/3 cup AP flour
* 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 3/4 tsp cinnamon
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk (I used skim)
* 2/3 cup vanilla yogurt
* 2/3 cup pumpkin (I used fresh, but you can used canned)
* 2 tbsp canola oil
* 1/4 tsp vanilla

1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (AP flour through salt).
2. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, yogurt, pumpkin, oil and vanilla until well blended.
3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
4. Cook pancakes as you normally do (on a hot griddle, in a skillet, etc).
5. Serve hot, and enjoy!!!

Delicious!!! They tasted a bit like pumpkin muffins and were incredibly fluffy.  Everyone loved these, and we will definitely make them again!

How to process pumpkin

1. Wash your pumpkins.  Remove the stems, then cut in half from the top to the bottom.
2. Remove the pumpkin seeds.  Sprinkle the pumpkin flesh with kosher salt.
3. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper lay the pumpkin halves flesh side down.
4. Cook in a 400 F oven for 30-45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the pumpkin glides in easily without resistance.
5. Let the pumpkin cool until you can easily handle them, approximately 1 hour.
6. Remove the skin, then process in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
7. Store the pumpkin puree in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for longer.

I like to store my pumpkin in 2 cup batches as this is most often the amount I need for a recipe.  If I need less I can use the remaining in another recipe.