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Archive for the ‘Pumpkin’ Category

Today is a very special day – 3/14 – the best excuse of the year to make pie!

So in honour of pi day, I share below my five favourite pies from last year.  May your days be filled with delicious pie!

– Catherine

 

Tourtiere – Easily my favourite savoury pie, this traditional Quebecois meat pie is a treat!

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart with Toasted Pistachios  – This combination of tart cranberries, nutty pistachios, and smooth chocolate is elegant and stunning. 

Raspberry Glacee Pie – If you ever need to bribe my mother, look no farther.  This delicate raspberry pie is truly divine served with whipped cream.



Pumpkin Pie – Nothing screams autumn more than impeccably spiced pumpkin pie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie –  Whipped hazelnut cream filling topped with chocolate ganache.  Need I say more?

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It’s hard to imagine that 2012 has arrived!  2011 has flashed by quicker than either of us expected, and both of us have loved writing entries for gourm(eh?).  Neither of us could guess how rewarding this blog would prove to be.  We are so grateful for our reader’s supports and comments, and hope you will continue to enjoy our posts in the year ahead! In the meantime, we wanted to share with you our 10 most popular recipes from 2011.

To a wonderful 2012!

10. Coconut Turnovers – A  recipe Sitelle invented while reminiscing about her travels in Belize — these turnovers are mouth wartering.

9. Okra, Potato and Cauliflower Curry – Who doesn’t love Indian food?  Madhur Jaffrey spotlights okra is this spicy dish.

8. Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Asparagus, and Zucchini  – Pesto is a favourite of Catherine’s, and this pasta dish (or a variant) features at least once a month in her kitchen.

7. Mocha Chip Meringue Cake – Our very first gourm(eh?) post!  This is a little taste of meringue heaven.

6. Crispy Baked Mac and Cheese – The more cheese, the better in our opinion.

5. Chocolate Zucchini Cake – One of Catherine’s top secret family recipes, she has yet to meet a picky eater who didn’t love this chocolatey, moist cake.

4. Flaky Pastry Crust: Savoury or Sweet! – A cornerstone of both our baking inventories, delicious buttery pie crust is our foundation for most pies.  And if you need a filling, may we recommend Catherine’s two favourites from 2011:

3. Cream of Broccoli and Spinach Soup – Concocted during Catherine’s month of vegetarianism, she’d eat this any day of the week!

2. The ultimate Canadian butter tarts! – We wrote developed gourm(eh?) partially to explore Canadian cuisine.  This here is Sitelle’s take of this delicious Canadian treat.

1. Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch – The post that saw us freshly pressed (!!!!), this rich pasta casserole is keeper.

You'll devour the pine nut crunch topping!

– Catherine & Sitelle

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Looking through the last dozen posts we’ve made, I see we’re really doing well in sharing seasonal recipes! This is yet another one in that category – I can’t help but keep eating pumpkin and squash, because it is delicious and versatile; and, especially, because starting in one month I will not be eating many vegetables for the next half-year…

I’m also curious to ask what other recipes people have for squash and pumpkin? Feel free to comment and share – as I’d love to try a few new ones myself!

This recipe was a great success. It’s simple, and I made it to use up the remaining pumpkin purée from the pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving. Not only did it help by re-interpreting left-overs, but it made a special brunch.

Ingredients – makes 16 scones

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup sugar (I used light brown sugar)
-1/2 tsp both ground ginger and cinnamon
-pinch of nutmeg
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-pinch salt
-1/2 cup cold butter, diced
-1/2 cup walnut pieces
-1/3 cup cream (or yogurt if you are looking to reduce your cream intake)
-2/3 cup puréed pumpkin (I like to use fresh if I can, but if not, pure canned pumpkin can be substituted)
-1 egg, for brushing

Directions

Puréed pumpkin

To make the pumpkin purée, preheat oven to 400F. Halve a cooking pumpkin, remove the seeds, and place cut-side up on a baking tray. Bake for 40 – 60 minutes (approximately), until the flesh is tender and a few brown spots appear on the pumpkin. Remove from oven, let cool, and then scoop the flesh out of the skin. Place in a blender or food processor (or use a potato-masher, if you have one), and purée the pumpkin thoroughly (if you do it by hand, make sure you really put in the effort to purée it – it does not work well if it is watery or stringy).

Pumpkin scones

Preheat oven to 375F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the spices, sugar, salt, and stir.

Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your hands (quickly), until mixture looks like breadcrumbs (you can also use a food-processor if you have one!).  Add the walnuts in after.

In a separate bowl, mix the cream and pumpkin purée. Add this to the dry ingredients, and mix them together with your hands or a wooden spatula until the dough begins to form into larger balls. Do not over-work.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take small amounts of dough into your hand and form them into a disc. Place on the baking sheet. Beat the egg together and brush over scones.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (check after 15, it’s best to be careful because you don’t want the bottoms to burn). Cool on a wire rack, and serve with jam, butter, or anything else you like with your scones!

-Sitelle

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Thanksgiving is perhaps my favourite holiday of the year.  I love the crisp air and colourful leaves and changing of the season.  More than any other holiday, I love the meaning behind this tradition – to reflect upon and give thanks for the blessings in our lives.  And importantly, it’s a great excuse to cook up a turkey feast to be served with good wine and eaten with good company!

Pumpkin Pie waiting to be eaten

If I survive my thesis proposal defence this Friday, my friend Alex and I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for just over a dozen friends this weekend. No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without pumpkin pie.  Last weekend, I celebrated “Fake Thanksgiving” (one can never eat too many Thanksgiving dinners) – and decided to use the opportunity to test Silver Palate’s pumpkin pie recipe.   Perhaps the only thing better than one pumpkin pie is two.

Like any Silver Palate recipe, this pie was decadent, spiced to perfection and filled with a scary amount of cream (who would dare count calories on Thanksgiving anyways?). When I doubled the recipe, I had extra purred pumpkin, so I just added the extra to the filling, and the pie was extra pumpkiny.  One dangerous find was caramelized roasted pumpkin seeds from the Halifax market, which added a lovely crunch.  Served with whipping cream, this recipe aced the test, so I’ll definitely be whipping up another two pies this weekend for the real deal!

Silver Palate’s Pumpkin Pie

(makes one 9-inch pie)

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 cups canned pureed pumpkin (make sure you buy unseasoned pumpkin puree)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup half-and-half

1 unbaked pie crust

For garnish, pecan halves and toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 Farhenheit. Beat the eggs and both sugars together in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy.  Stir in the pumpkin puree, spices, and salt and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the cream and half-and-half.

Roll out the pastry on a slightly floured work surface and line a 9-inch bake pan with it; trim and crimp the edges.  Pour in the filling.

Bake the pie for 8 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 Fahrenheit and bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed (a knive inserted in the center will come out clean), another 40 to 45 minutes.

Arrange the pecan halves decoratively around the edges, pressing them lightly into the warm filling.  Cool completely before cutting.  Delicious served with whipped cream!

– Catherine

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