by Jean Redstone
There’s no getting around the notion that autumn and apples are the best part of cool weather. But shouldn’t we add that other seasonal fruit that figures so largely in our fall wonderment – the pumpkin?
Every farm market chef knows the pumpkin for a versatile, sweet or savory gift from the fields. But too often we in the kitchen neglect the virtues of the pumpkin once we get it home for carving.
Now, carving a Halloween pumpkin for scares or home décor is a tradition not to be ignored. On the other hand, have you cooked and eaten a fresh pumpkin lately? It takes a little work, yes, but you’re carving anyway and the fresh, unique taste is worth the cooking effort.
Here’s a recipe for fresh apples easy to make and a sure complement to the autumn table. Plus there are recipes for fresh pumpkin dishes combined with apples – it’s the best of both and will be hits at any holiday affair.
Easy cleanup; great for fall mornings, brunch or dessert
3 medium Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and diced large sized
1 tsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp butter
¼ C heavy cream
1 Tbsp flour
½ C light brown sugar plus 2 Tbsp reserved
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
12 large canned biscuits (not the flaky layer kind)
⅔ C powdered sugar
¼ C heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet with butter and set aside. Put diced apples into a medium sauce pan and sprinkle with lemon juice, stirring to coat. Add in 3 Tbsp butter and heavy cream. Also set aside. In a bowl whisk together flour, ½ C light brown sugar, cinnamon and ¼ tsp salt. Add this to apples and stir to coat.
Heat mixture over medium low heat until apples soften and a thick sauce is created, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place biscuits in pan, completely covering the bottom and overlapping slightly, if need be. Pour apple mixture evenly over the top of biscuits and sprinkle with reserved 2 Tbsp pf light brown sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.
Mix powdered sugar and heavy cream in a small bowl until smooth and drizzle on top of biscuits.
Serve warm. Makes 12 biscuits
Puree is used in place of canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Wash pumpkin under running water to remove any soil or twigs. Cut the pumpkin in half from stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. If you like, keep the seeds, washed, to roast for snacks.
Cover each half with foil. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender.
Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. Drain puree in a sieve or mesh basket. (Collect the juice and use for smoothies or soup stock.)
Once the puree has cooled entirely, place in freezer containers or ice cube trays. Leave room at the top (headspace). Label, date and freeze the puree for future use.
Also makes a yummy topping for ice cream or pudding
1 C pumpkin puree, well-drained
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 C whipped cream
chopped pecans (optional)
Combine pumpkin, sour cream, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large serving bowl. Whisk in the whipped cream until well combined. Top with chopped pecans. Serve with apple slices, cinnamon pita chips, vanilla wafers, other fresh fruit or graham crackers.
Just 7 minutes to breakfast or snack
2 C milk of choice, or water
1 C rolled oats
4 pitted, chopped dates
1/3 C well-drained pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
handful of dried cranberries or craisins or raisins or some of each
Bring milk or water to a boil. Add oats, and reduce heat to medium. Add dates, if using, and diced apple into oatmeal immediately. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add pumpkin puree, vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Stir.
When you’re happy with the consistency of the oatmeal, stir in half of the cranberries, and then transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of milk or water, the remaining cranberries, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.). Makes two hot and hearty servings.