Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Tragedy!....AVERTED!!!!!

My daughter got an extra pumpkin for Halloween from her preschool Fall Festival and wanted to use it to make pumpkin pie.  I figured it was a good opportunity to teach her how we make food from foods we harvest, since we usually used canned pumpkin.

Unfortunately, I am a busy Mama.  I stopped by the grocery store and took a look at the recipe on the pumpkin puree can which listed EVAPORATED MILK in a recipe that also called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  When I got home, I searched on and found a recipe that called for SWEETEN CONDENSED MILK.  I didn't stop to even consider that I was using evaporated milk AND that the recipe didn't have ANY sugar in it....until the pie was 3/4 of the way cooked.  (#$&(#@#$&  REALLY?!  I was SUPER bummed because my daughter was so excited about the prospect of eating pumpkin pie that was made from her preschool pumpkin.  

To make matters worse, I overfilled the pie crust and spilled pie filling on the bottom of our stove top which caused the whole house to fill up with smoke.  At this point I'm pretty sure you're asking yourself why you read this crazy's cooking blog. :)

WELL.....I managed to save the day by dousing the pumpkin pie in homemade caramel sauce!  WHOOHOO!!!!!  

1 cup white sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pinch of salt to taste

Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Stir continuously until sugar begins to melt.  Continue stirring until the sugar melts completely, begins to darken and all the chunks are dissolved, about 10 minutes.  Stop stirring and continue to cook until the sugar begins to smoke and turns a dark shade of amber, 3 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and wait 30 seconds.

Whisk butter until melted and combine.  Slowly pour in cream, taking care because it can bubble over.  Sprinkle in salt and stir to combine.  Transfer to a jar and cool completely before refrigerating.

I was SO worried about making this caramel.  I've always had bad luck in making candy type products, but this caramel was AMAZING!!!!  It TOTALLY saved the day!  My daughter even said I make the "best pumpkin pie, EVER!"  To be fair, she is only three and hasn't had a lot to compare. :)  I am a bit older and have a lot to compare it to and can confidently tell you this sugar-less pumpkin pie ROCKED with this caramel sauce!  Lots of it!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

'Tis the season for yummy pumpkin!  I honestly can't get enough pumpkin from October to December, so I stock up on canned pumpkin during the holiday season to make sure I have enough to get me through January to September. :)  This recipe for Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup is a BIG reason why!

Of course the pumpkin waffles are great, but the Apple Cider Syrup is what takes this breakfast to delectable levels of pure yummy goodness!  PLEASE, I beg of you, DO NOT SUBSTITUTE  the apple cider for regular apple will be so sad if you do!

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated....if you want to go to the effort of whipping up the egg white separately.
1/4 cup canola oil

Apple Cider Syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk and egg yolks.  Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form (I always omit this part because I'm lazy...I think they taste just as good).

Stir the flour mixture and 1/4 cup melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just to combine.  Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently until incorporated (See, so much effort to have fluffy batter...I really have tried it both ways and don't think it makes much difference). Fold in the remaining egg whites.  Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions.

To make the syrup, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a sauce pan.  Stir in the apple cider and lemon juice.  Cook ever medium heat until mixture begins to boil; boil until the syrup thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter until melted.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

McCormick Knows Pumpkin Goodness!!!!

I'm letting you know up front I am not being paid for this gushing review of McCormick's Pumpkin Fruit Spread.  :)

This weekend Alex and I went up to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and discovered a McCormick's cooking store.  It was PURE HEAVEN!!!  I hate going to the grocery store looking for a specific spice only to find the store doesn't carry it...well, I didn't have to worry about that with the McCormick shop!  They have EVERY spice you could conceivably dream up!  But the BEST find was their Pumpkin Fruit Spread.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I think pumpkin has been getting overrated in the last couple of years and is becoming overdone.  Even the pumpkin spice latte's are getting too sweet and over the top... BLASPHEMY!!...but it is true.  This Pumpkin Fruit Spread is INSANE!!!  On the top of the lid is a recipe for making pumpkin pie.  Using the  2 pints Pumpkin Fruit Spread, combine 2 eggs, 1 can evaporated milk, pour into a 9" pie shell.  Bake 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees.

I tried to find a link so you can purchase this fruit spread, but couldn't find it even on McCormick's web site.  :(  The next trip I plan up to Baltimore, I'm going to LOAD UP on their Pumpkin Fruit Spread!