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Autumn recipe dump.
morrigan
incommune


AUTUMN PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients:
1 whole sugar pumpkin, peeled & cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Several slices fresh ginger root
1 apple, cored, peeled & cubed (I used golden delicious)
3 cups chicken stock (or veggie)
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cooking sherry
Mascarpone cheese
Heavy cream

Carmelize the onion (or, start the while you're finishing up preparing the pumpkin, which I did). Add the ginger, and add oil as needed; give the pumpkin a little sear over medium-high heat until the edges begin to brown. Deglaze the pan a couple of times with the sherry. (I had to do two batches). Put pumpkin, ginger, onion, and apple into the crock pot. Add enough stock just to cover, add spices and stir.

Cook on high for 2-3 hours. The pumpkin should be soft through (you should be able to easily mash it into pulp with a spoon). Blend until velvety (immersion blender=super useful for this). If adjusting spices, I'd recommend adding what you like (you may want salt - I didn't add any extra, but my cooking sherry comes 'seasoned' with it). Just before serving, whisk in the cream to taste. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of mascarpone in the bottom of bowls or mugs, and pour the soup over top.

My pumpkin was about the size of a basketball, or a hair smaller. It takes some work to deal with the raw pumpkin, especially if you fail at having good knives in your kitchen which I really do. Also workspace, but that's my kitchen's fault (I promise; it used to be a dressing room & my 'counter' is boards on cinderblocks which is also half my storage.). HOWEVER, in regards to this as well as pies, I feel strongly that using fresh pumpkin over canned is worth it. That's my taste - I'm not sure how much canned pumpkin makes a whole pumpkin, but feel free to convert if you prefer of course!

I didn't actually measure the spices, so I'm interpreting 'several healthy pinches of allspice, a good shake of cinnamon and as much cayenne as I thought I'd be comfortable with given that a lot of the flavor was going to render over the long cooking time. Use your wits and spice as you like :)

The sherry is pretty optional; I imagine white wine would also work nicely but you could probably omit it if you didn't have it on hand without much change to the flavor.

The mascarpone was divine; the cookbook recommends clotted or Devon cream, or plain yogurt. I imagine plain soy yogurt could be substituted, as well as a little soymilk for the cream (if you wanted a vegan preparation of the soup), or they could be omitted with a little more stock and the soup would still be delicious.





APPLESAUCE

4lbs (approx) fresh apples (I used honeycrisp; a crisp apple with some tartness will do best)
1/3 c water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
pinch allspice

Peel, core, and chunk the apples. Put them into the crock pot. Add water and seasonings. Cook on low 8 hours, or on high 4 (or some combination of the two, as I started mine on low and turned it up a little while later). When done, stir well to break up most of the chunks and, if desired, buzz with an immersion blender for a more even texture.



BAKED APPLES
(this recipe is very easy to adjust for size - this is just what I happened to use. Measurements, except the count of apples, are extremely approximate)

9 small apples, cores removed to a half inch or so of the bottom.
2/3 c pecan pieces
2/3 c chopped dates
1/2-2/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c (half stick) butter
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
pinch allspice
pinch cayenne powder (are you getting a sense for WHAT IS IN MY KITCHEN?!)
1/2 c water (ish)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare the apples and arrange in a glass baking pan (the sides can touch). Chop the dates and pecans together, coarsely, and set aside. Using forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour and brown sugar until well blended, mixture should be fairly dry but not mealy - feel like mostly sugar and be able to ball easily between your fingers. Add the dates and pecans, mix well (also a good task for the pastry cutter). Pack this filling firmly into the wells of the apples. Pour the half cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples are fairly soft but not mushy. Spoon a little of the pan juices over the apples and serve (the liberal application of vanilla ice cream, here, is highly recommended).
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Ooooh, recipes! If you want a super dooper awesome twist to your apple sauce, put some fresh cranberries in there and a bit extra sugar to even out the sourness of the cranberries. I usually put in You will have to put it through a sieve or, if you have one, a potato ricer/foley mill to get out the cranberry skins and seeds afterwards, but basically you want to have a ratio of about 1:4 cranberries:apple chunks or 1:5 cranberries:whole apples.

You can also add a pinch of cardamom to this tasty sauce. We eat it every Thanksgiving. It's fantastic with turkey.

P.S. If you have a ricer/foley mill, you do not have to peel and core the apples. Just quarter or eighth them and throw 'em in the pot. The foley mill will strain out all the skins and cores and stuff.

I don't have a mill. Or a strainer, for that matter. I did, however, consider getting a bottle of that unsweetened 100% cranberry juice and putting some of that in, in place of all or some of the water :D Ultimately decided to just do the first batch plain without too much experimentation, but I think cranberry would be a very nice flavor with the tartness of the honeycrisp apples.

Hm, if you ever do try replacing water with cranberry juice, let me know how it turns out. I'm sure it'll affect the flavor somehow, I just don't know how much, and in my version of the sauce, the fresh cranberries are important because the cranberry flesh gives some of the texture to the final product, and a lot of flavor. I fear that just the juice will be too weak to properly affect the final sauce. Incidentally, a strainer might not be a bad addition to your kitchen. Also not very expensive. Very useful. :P

It does seem like a fairly useful tool XD

The 100% cranberry juice is pretty intense stuff, in color and flavor. I'll let you know if I do make a substitution! (It's delicious mixed with orange juice, I can tell you that much).

I don't mean the juice-cocktail drinking juice, though, just PS. I mean the knudson or whatever 'Just Cranberry', that's just that. Cranberries, juiced.

I see what you mean about the cranberries themselves though, and I will definitely give that a shot once I acquire appropriate equipment.

Another idea might be to boil down some of that cranberry juice until it's more of a syrup and mix that in. That way you get more concentrated flavor and not so much liquid that you get apple soup rather than apple sauce.

PPS A lady I know from Twitter (who cooks awesome things all of the times) tried the soup recipe this week and loved it! Heee! *flushed with pride*

Exciting! You'll be famous soon! :P I was actually looking at that soup. I adore pumpkin and think that I would like to try this recipe out too. I think it'll have to wait til I get home (i.e. next week) to try it because I'm not sure where I can get a pumpkin here. There's other squash, just not pumpkin. Though I think Hokkaido squash would be also tasty in that soup...

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