pumpkin, pumpkin carving, pumpkin goodness, pumpkin seeds

Happy Halloween

We were a little bit behind the holiday this year. Normally the pumpkins would have been carved weeks ago and the toasty, roasty seeds would be a distant memory. But, with work, school and other general distractions, we didn’t find our selves stabbing out stenciled patterns until last night.

My pattern this year was a nod to one of my favorite Pixar movies, Monsters Inc., which happens to have a sequel coming out next year. And the name, Mike Wazowski, is just fun to say.
The Missus, however, went a little more political with her pumpkin this year and chose the Guy Fawkes/Anonymous stencil. Her pumpkin came out very nice and had me declaring that we were going to Occupy Halloween. Maybe when the holiday is done I’ll leave the pumpkin on the steps of Bank of America for shits and giggles.


Happy Halloween, kids.

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attempts at sauces, fall desserts, frying goodness, pumpkin

Pumpkin Apple Fritters with Creme Anglaise


Pumpkin Fritters**

17.6 oz pumpkin – weigh after it has been peeled (even butternut will do)
4.2oz flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
vegetable oil for frying
cinnamon sugar for dusting

Cut the pumpkin into chunks and cook in water until very soft. Drain and allow to cool. Place all the ingredients, including the pumpkin into a blender and blend.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and when the oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.

When golden brown on both sides, take out of the oil and drain. Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve with the Creme Anglaise.


**I added cubed ginger gold and honey crisp apples to the batter–about 4 small, total–and I believe that’s where I made the mistake. They apples were cut too big for the fritter to maintain a true shape and were just sloppy looking and not cohesive.

For the crème anglaise:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla—or for chocolate crème anglaise, 3 ounces of semisweet chocolate melted in the milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract stirred into the finished sauce

Preparation

  1. In a 3-quart mixing bowl, gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and forms a ribbon.
  2. Beat in the starch.
  3. While beating the yolk mixture, very gradually pour on the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets, so that the yolks are slowly warmed.
  4. Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed enameled or stainless steal saucepan and set over moderate heat, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spatula or spoon. Reach all over the bottom and sides of the pan, until the sauce thickens just enough to coat the spoon with a light, creamy layer.
  5. Do not let the custard come anywhere near a simmer. It should be a maximum of 170 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  6. Then beat the sauce off heat for a minute or two to cool it. Strain it through a fine sieve, and beat in the vanilla.
  7. To serve hot: Keep the sauce over warm but not hot water. If you wish, beat in 1 to 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter just before serving.
  8. To serve cold: Set the saucepan in a pan of cold water, and stir frequently until cool. Then cover and chill.

Not a 100% win for me. My sister made the same thing last fall when I was home and I couldn’t stop eating them. This time, they were a bit of a fail with the creme anglaise a bit too thin and the fritters overly greasy and freakish looking from the adding of the apples. I’ll probably make another attempt at these soon, though they’ll definitely be sans apples.

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carve, cook to, pumpkin, stella blue

Cook or Carve?

Before the stalls were completely set this morning, I banged over the Deering Oaks Farmers Market to grab some salsify and pumpkins before heading off to work. Because I couldn’t resist some smoked and dried chipotles and rainbow carrots from Fishbowl, I was left with a smaller pumpkin budget than anticipated. While the goal was carving pumpkins, my ‘look shiny pretty’ instinct drew me into grabbing a Japanese Hokkaido pumpkin. I was told it tends to be sweet in the flesh and now I’m torn between carving it up or cooking it up…

The Obama Action Figure was no help with suggestions—perhaps you could be… So, cook or carve?

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