Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Little Pockets Of Nom

After

After whipping up all that homemade pumpkin mash for the sweet buns earlier this week, I started looking for ways to use up the litre of excess puree that were a little more out of the ordinary.

Pondering what might be the optimal pumpkin delivery system, I settled on a filling for handmade ravioli that would combine it with creme fraiche, roasted garlic and fresh thyme; all things that I had kicking around in my fridge that also happened to sound vaguely complimentary.  Deciding on a course of action, I prepared the filling and left it to chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up a bit.

Once I’d whipped the filling into a lather, I dug my hand crank out of a drawer and set to work rolling out gossamer sheets of dough.  Being that I don’t make stuffed pastas too often, my technique is a little less than stellar, yielding ravioli of varying shapes and sizes, but personally I think that makes them look all the more authentically handmade.

Two imperative things to note when making your own ravioli;

1) Resist the urge to over-stuff your ravioli, because it will come back to bite you later

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This Just In: Turkey Day Treats

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Rolls

Our friends to the south will celebrate American Thanksgiving tomorrow, so with that in mind, I’ve whipped up a batch of salted caramel pumpkin pie rolls that would be equally at home on a breakfast plate or a dessert platter.

It all started when I found a small pie pumpkin lurking at the back of my overstuffed fridge on the weekend.  After brainstorming and rejecting my initial thoughts on its usage (pumpkin chocolate chip bars) I settled on the idea to make cinnamon rolls (which the Everyman loves) but tinge them festive and orange with pumpkin and pie spices. After googling for a while, I came across several recipes that had elements of what I was after, but no hard and fast winner.  Instead, I decided to come up with my own.

First, I roasted the pie pumpkin cut-side down until it was collapsed and yielding.  Once it had cooled a little, I ran it through the food processor until it had the consistency of baby food.  I’ve often wondered why homemade pumpkin puree is a light ochre-ish yellow and the stuff you get in a can comes out technicolor orange.  After pondering this for a bit, I’ve arrived at the hypothesis that they grind the whole pumpkin up, rind and all to obtain such a vibrant hue.

Incorporating my puree into a basic sweet dough, I left it to bulk ferment for an hour while I roasted some things in duck fat and salad spun some other things.  Some of the rest of this pumpkin mush will be making an appearance in another dish later this week, too.

When I returned, the dough was rolled out on a floured counter, brushed with copious amounts of butter and sprinkled with a brown sugar-based spice blend.  Rolled into a tube, it was sliced and placed in a silcone pan and left to final proof on top of the oven.

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Surviving The Holidays With Allergies

Blobs Of Dough

As most of you probably already know, we’re only a few days away from Canadian Thanksgiving.

And, as I’m well aware, having a food allergy can make enjoying holiday meals more than a little challenging.  On the one hand, you don’t want to inconvenience your host by making a big deal about your situation, but many allergies can be deadly; anaphylactic shock is a sure way to ruin any holiday celebration if you ask me.

In my case, I’m lucky that I don’t often have to worry about my seafood/shellfish allergy, because neither are typically included in traditional holiday meals, and when they are, they’re pretty easy to spot.  For others (like my mother in law) it’s unfortunately not so simple.  An allergy to wheat that she developed later in life means that she can’t always spot the things that to her are deadly, but knows exactly what it is she’s missing (hello baguette!).

Being a fellow allergy sufferer (one who also developed an allergy in adulthood) I can sympathize with the notion of pining for something you used to be able to eat before – I constantly decry my memories of fresh caught crabs off the piers in BC.  But, one thing I’ve noticed about people with food allergies in general is that they don’t want you to take pity on them.  All they really want is something good to eat!  There’s nothing worse than feeling like a leper because everyone else is eating “normal” food while you nosh on some “alternative” bread, cake, pie, etc.

But, what people often forget is that there’s a whole slew of great recipes that are unintentionally allergy friendly.  If you’re a raw foodist, you can eat gazpacho (I think, I’m not super familiar with their ideology, to be honest).  If you’re allergic to wheat, well, there really isn’t anything better that a decadent flourless chocolate cake, you know?  And if you’re allergic to eggs, well I recently found out that ground flax and some water makes a surprisingly decent substitute (ascertained when I accidentally ran out of eggs for banana bread).

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