Category: gourd

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Dearest readers,

I know, I know, I’ve been gone for much too long. Sorry for the hiatus. I’ve been busy travelling, eating, baking and new-job-a-workin’. You can catch up with all of that thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, where you can see my travel food posts (here!) and see my baking (here!)
Hear, hear, it is now time for a brand new recipe. I never grew up eating pumpkin pie, so, in all honesty, I’m not quite sure what defines a “good” pumpkin pie to most North Americans. What I can tell you though, is that THIS pie is the bees knees. It’s the creamiest, fluffiest, pie-i-est pies I’ve ever made, and I just had to share it with you all. And, it’s perfectly in season, perfectly in time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, and any other fall-themed dinners or dinner parties you may be attending. It comes together quickly, and disappears even faster. I wish I had a photo of the actual sliced open pie, but alas, no time, as it was instantly gobbled up.

Best Pumpkin Cream Pie Ever
an original recipe by allison sklar

ingredients

pie filling:
1 brick (250g) cream cheese – room temp
1/4 cup butter (approx 56g) – room temp
250g (approx 1 cup) puréed pumpkin*
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
pinch salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp allspice

crust:
1 sleeve of Maria Milk Cookies (Social Tea should work if you can’t find Maria!)
5 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup (56g) butter

Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the Maria Cookies, 5tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter until crumbly. Press mixture into bottom of pan, and up the sides to form a shell.

In stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, intermittently scraping down the sides.
Add pumpkin, egg yolks, brown sugar and sour cream. Continue beating until fully incorporated. Add spices, beat for another 30 seconds.

Pour pie filling into crust. Bake at 325F for 1 hour. Let cool at room temp, then transfer to fridge and cool for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Tip: try not to eat it all in one serving. Or do. It’s basically happiness on a plate.

*I use E.D. Smith canned pumpkin (NOT the pie filling, just the pure pumpkin.) I absolutely love it. I don’t consider it “cheating” at all. I’ve done the whole “real” pumpkin thing before, and it’s totally not worth the time, the mess or the hassle.

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Fall is just around the corner – which means it’s time for pumpkin EVERYTHING! Last year, I showed you how to make your very own pumpkin spice latté, and some homemade pumpkin alfredo pasta. This year, pumpkin season kicks off with a super easy weeknight meal that requires very little prep and comes together in less than 15 minutes. Happy *almost* autumn!

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
3 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup milk (or cream, for a richer sauce)
1 brick cream cheese (250g) cut into cubes
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
pinch salt, black pepper, and clove, to taste

Method
Prepare your favourite pasta according to directions. (I used a herb-speckled pasta, but you can use anything you desire!) Drain, reserving some of the water for the sauce. Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add milk. Add cheese, a little at a time, until melted. Add pumpkin. Mix together until homogenous. Continue stirring for about one minute, until mixture comes together and is hot. If mixture is too thick, add a few tbsp of cooking water until desired consistency is reached. Add salt, pepper and clove. Toss with pasta. Serve warm.

Cozy Night In (Squash and Carrot Soup with Cumin)

Alright, let’s be real…

You usually don’t read past the 3rd line of my blogs before you skip down to the recipe.

You know what? That’s ok! You’re still a loyal reader, and you’re interested in the most important part – my food creations! So today, just for you, I’ve taken all of the tough work away from you – here you won’t find any two-finger sliding, rolling, or clicking arrows in order to get to what matters. You see, it’s not that I don’t want to ramble on about how amazing squash is, and how you can make so many things with it. (Case in point – my squash cake here!) But, seeing as this is my second blog of the day, I’ll just get right down to business.

Just make this soup.
Like now. And then warm it up when you’re cold.
And then thank me.
(Oh. You’re welcome.)

Squash Soup with Rosemary & Spice
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need
1 medium acorn or butternut squash, PEELED and chopped into 1-inch cubes, seeds removed
2 cups chopped carrots
2 sprigs rosemary
4-5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp ground sea salt
1 tbsp fresh ground peppercorns

how to do it
Combine 1c broth with 2c water, add rosemary and cinnamon. Boil carrots and squash in liquid until very soft, about 20 minutes. Once fully cooked, remove cinnamon sticks. Remove mixture from heat, and, using a hand blender, pulse the mixture until velvety. Return mixture to stovetop on low heat. Slowly add 1c vegetable broth at a time, stirring well between additions. (Use more or less broth depending on desired consistency.) When desired thickness is reached, add cumin, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream or yogout and roasted acorn squash seeds (or any other seeds that you can find, as the acorn squash seeds proved to be too delicious to even make it into the photoshoot.)

Unusual Happenings (Butternut Squash Cake)

I have a serious disability: I am completely unable to go into a grocery store and buy only one item. Even if I only go there with the intention of buying one thing – I won’t take a cart, and won’t even grab a basket… I just can’t help myself! The bright fresh produce, the meal ideas racing though my mind as I stroll down the aisles… It’s all too good. Tonight, it started with flour. I needed flour. Simple. Quick. Flour. I know what aisle it’s in. I could have gone straight there. But it was all over when I saw the strategically placed peaches. On sale. I could use some fruit! You know, I should probably look at what else is on sale, just out of curiosity… what’s this big red flashy sign? 99 cents a pound for butternut squash? Well, I have always wanted to try it. But what would I do with it? I’d figure that out later.

And then, I had a gourd epiphany.

Butternut squash cake. Don’t wince. Don’t cringe. Don’t question. Just try it. Love it. And never doubt me.


Butternut Squash Cake
an original recipe by Allison Sklar

what you’ll need
• 1 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
• (see instructions below)
• ½ cup butter
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• Other spices optional

how to do it
Squash prep: Microwave half of a medium sized butternut squash, wrapped in a paper towel, for about 4 minutes, until rind begins to soften. Remove from microwave, peel off rind, cut squash into cubes and return to microwave for another 7 minutes or until tender enough to mash. Return to microwave for 2 more minutes with 2 tbsp water and a pat of butter or margarine. Measure out 1 cup of the mash, and cool in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Cake: Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Add squash and oil. Combine dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, 10 minutes.

(pictures may or may not come later… there isn’t much of this deliciousness left.)