Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apples Part 2 & Pumpkin Galore

I completed the 2nd installment of my apple process today. I turned the 8 cups of homemade applesauce waiting from last week into apple butter. It's delicious! Now I just have to find time tomorrow to actually can the stuff so I don't have to find room for all of it in my frig & eat it in the next couple months. Not that I couldn't - I totally could, but I need to ration it to last until next fall. My mom's recipe is as follows:

Apple Butter

16 c. thick apple pulp (my homemade applesauce)
1 c. vinegar
8 c. sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
Cook 1 1/2 hours stirring frequently until thick as desired. Bottle and put in water bath for 10 min. to preserve.

Okay, I only made a half recipe of this, I used apple cider vinegar, and found you need to keep it on pretty low heat. The first pot I tried wasn't very heavy & I burned a ton on the bottom. Not good - I had the heat on medium & apparently needed to stir every couple of minutes. But I poured the whole thing off into a heavier pot and turned the heat down & managed not to ruin the entire batch. Whew!

And speaking of butters, and pumpkin recipes (which I promised) - here's the best recipe of all!

1. Get in your car.
2. Drive to the nearest Trader Joe's.
3. Buy pumpkin butter.
4. Return home and eat it straight out of the jar, or if you can wait, it's fabulous on English muffins, pancakes, waffles, and the like.

Here's my jar, shown with my empty waffle plate last Friday. Hmmm, is it too early to make waffles again?

Okay, so some real pumpkin recipes.

I tried this Pumpkin Bread Pudding last week, from Smitten Kitchen. Oh, it was so fabulous! Rich & creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth - there was barely any left for my husband by the time he got home from work.

Cake is pretty much my favorite dessert - and pumpkin cake is pretty high on the ladder. This is my current best recipe - I found it on FlyLady a couple years ago. You bake it in a bundt pan & it's very dense, like pumpkin bread. You can hold a slice in your hand to eat, no plate or fork required. And cream cheese frosting is great, but not completely necessary with this cake. Here's the link - #6 on the clutter-free gift ideas. Thanks Flybaby in Lexington, KY! She has a great gift idea too.

For my own recipe, I will share my fave pumpkin cookies. These are absolutely the best - fluffy & cake-like, but a little crisp on the outside. It's the shortening. I almost always bake with real butter, but sometimes you gotta go with something else. I can eat an entire dozen of these straight out of the oven, but I try to hold back. They are best hot from the oven though. I don't embellish mine with anything, but you could. I actually just had some scrumptious pumpkin cookies at a church meeting that were flatter shaped and had great cream cheese icing on them. I must ask for the recipe. But try mine - you'll love them! And they're really easy

Pumpkin Cookies

Mix: 1 c. shortening, 2 eggs, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 c. canned pumpkin

Blend in: 2 c. flour, 1/2 t. salt, 2 t. baking powder, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, nuts if desired

Roll balls in powdered sugar (My dough isn't solid enough to do this, but maybe if it had nuts in it. I drop by the spoonfull onto a greased baking sheet.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 min. Makes 3 dozen. (I only get 2 doz. out of this & have to bake for more like 12 min. What can I say? I like 'em big)

So, what else can I put pumpkin in? I love pumpkin pancakes and have used this recipe from allrecipes.com. Next I want to try this Pumpkin Rice Pudding that Jenny from Picky Palate posted. I'm even making Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup in Coconut Milk this week for dinner. I so love the fall!


The Thorley Family said...

mmm..sounds yummy - we just made a Thai spiced pumpkin soup last week that was delish! Check out my blog for the recipe.

Robyn said...

You crack me up! Trader Joe's is a good second for sure!

hesslei said...

The Pumpkin cookies were excellent for their light and fluffy texture. Not only are they a great consistency, but they aren't overly sweet either. The powdered sugar is necessary and a perfect pairing to the somewhat subdued pumpkin and molasses flavor. I could easily eat 10 of these in one sitting, and not feel too guilty afterwards. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who is not a fan of super sweet, crunchy cookies! These are more like miniature, light cakes, with the perfect amount of spicy flavor.


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