2012-11-29 / House & Home

What’s Cooking


Looking back, we are publishing columns from What’s Cooking that appeared in the paper two years ago in What’s Cooking Classic. This Week:

PS: Thanksgiving


HOPE THAT your Thanksgiving was a happy one and spent with family and friends. Our turkey was ok, and has now become a sandwich source. I’ll mix the left-over mashed potatoes with rutabaga, ( in a nice pattern) and serve it as a topping of a beef stew, or heat it up in the mic rowave, then top it with stew or creamed turkey, or make some potato patties, dust it with a bit of flour, and sauté it to get a lovely crust, to perhaps accompany it with some seared salmon and broccoli.

We only had six in all at the table. My husband and I and two friends plus my granddaughter and husband whose arrival was tentative because of the weather and the holiday crush.

I thought about my pie menu, which usually consists of pumpkin, apple and mince. Three pies for six people? Two of whom might not make it for the day? That didn’t make sense, so I made three desserts instead, all of which could be divided in small portions, or used throughout the weekend. They were served together in small portions on one plate: Apple crisp, a small slice of mincemeat tart and an individual pumpkin flan.

The mincemeat tart was formed by used by halving the recipe for dough of a two crust pie. It was rolled out, then draped in the bottom in an eight inch pie plate. It was filled with about 1 1/2 cups of mince meat, dotted with butter, then the edges of the crust were folded toward the middle, overlapping the mixture, (some showed). The crust was brushed with slightly beaten egg white, sprinkled with sugar, then baked until the crust was light brown in a 400 degree oven.

Note; when I made my pie crust mixture from a week before, I divided the mixture prior to adding the water, and refrigerated it. It was so easy to take it out, adding the ice water until it just stuck together, then rolling out the disk.

The Apple Crisp

I used four large Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2

inch cubes A mixture of two tablespoons brown sugar, 1/3 cup
white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour, and a
pinch of nutmeg was added to
the apples. A 1/4 cup of dried
cranberries were added. ( A 1/3
cup of chopped pecans would
have been nice too). Place in bottom of pie pan
The topping
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Butter
Mix together with your fingers
till it is crumbly then put on top
of apple mixture.
Bake 450 for 10 minutes, 350
for 40 minutes;
Note: if the crumbs look like
they are getting too brown, put a
piece of aluminum foil on top of
the pan for the last 10-15 minutes.

Pumpkin flan
From Bon Appétit
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup solid pack pumpkin
3 Eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch allspice (see note)
1 cup low fat milk
Position rack in center of oven
and preheat to 325°F. Stir 2/3
cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in
heavy small saucepan over
medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture turns
amber-colored, brushing any
crystals that form on sides of
pan with wet brush and swirling
pan occasionally, about 7 minutes. Immediately divide caramel
among six 1/2-cup custard
dishes to cover bottoms and
sides with caramel. Cool.
Whisk pumpkin, eggs, sugar,
vanilla, cinnamon and allspice in
large bowl to blend. Gradually
whisk in milk. Divide mixture
among dishes. Place dishes in
large baking pan. Add enough
water to baking pan to come
halfway up sides of dishes. Bake
until flans are set, about 50 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate at least 8
hours and up to 2 days. Run
small sharp knife around edges
of dishes to loosen. Turn flans
out onto plates and serve. Note:
I think I will just add cinnamon
and a pinch of ginger next time.
The original recipe called for 55
minutes cooking time. Custard
mixtures will firm up if they are
a bit “giggly” when then come out
of the oven.

Note: all of the dessert recipes above are even better made the day before. I served just a spoonful of the apple, the flan was not very big and about one inch high, and the mincemeat tart was a nice addition of a crumbly crust around the fruit. pgg

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