Photos on Gimme a Little Sugar on the Weekend are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are originals by Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mimsy's Rich, Dark, Traditional Pumpkin Pie

It's interesting that so many people still use canned evaporated milk in pumpkin pie. Canned milk came about as a way to preserve milk when refrigerators weren't a part of every kitchen in the early 1900s. I think it might have to do with the Libby's® pumpkin pie recipe which has been around since the 1950's. Well, it's time to move out of the canned evaporated milk era and start using fresh ingredients again!

This is my own pumpkin pie recipe, developed over years of making pie for Thanksgiving.

3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (or use canned pumpkin in a pinch)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 T molasses
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
2 T vanilla
2 unbaked single pie shells (your favorite recipe)

Using a wire whisk, beat all of the ingredients in a large bowl until completely blended and divide between two pie crusts in two 9-inch pie tins. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425ºF for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350ºF and continue baking until set, approximately 50 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rustic Apple-Cranberry Tart

Tart cranberries and tart apples in a sugar-coated crust, served hot with vanilla ice cream. I like a tart... tart. There are all kinds of varieties of recipes for apple-cranberry rustic tart on the internet. Some even use canned cranberries and canned apple pie filling (gah!). Don't do it! Sure, it takes a while to hand peel some fresh apples off the tree. But touching and smelling the apples, working them with your hands, picking over the beautiful, brightly colored fresh cranberries and listening to them pop as they cook is all part of connecting with nature. When we eat by opening cans or dumping food that has been processed and packaged onto our plates, we lose the pleasure of becoming intimately acquainted with the treasures of nature and truly understanding how to enjoy the complex and simple flavors of fruit, grains, vegetables, even of poultry and fish and meats. It's about quality rather than quantity. Taking time to slow down and enjoy food is better for our bodies and even a little sugar on the weekend can become part of an overall more healthier lifestyle.

The following is my own recipe...

Cranberry Mixture:

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Combine in a saucepan and cook until berries pop open and mixture has thickened slightly.

Apple Mixture:

7 medium tart apples (I used granny smith)
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Combine in a large glass bowl and microwave for 12 minutes (this step keeps the tart from being too watery, but is not necessary. If you prefer, you can skip microwaving the apple mixture and place them directly into the crust)

Preheat the oven to 425ºF

Assemble the tart by rolling out your favorite pie crust for a single-crust pie, making it larger than the pie tin you will be using. Drape the crust over the tin, and fill first with apple mixture and then with cranberry mixture. Fold the extra dough over the top around the edges (as seen in the photo at the bottom of this post). Paint the edges of the dough with egg white and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes in pre-heated oven, then decrease the temperature to 350ºF and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the apples are fully cooked and the crust is brown.

Friday, October 9, 2009

October Pie (Walnut-Pumpkin)

Two of my favorite Autumn pies in one: Walnut and Pumpkin. This is my own recipe that I developed from of similar concepts I've seen. It turned out delicious! Not as rich as a pure nut pie and something a bit more hearty than a pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Layer:

1 egg
1 cup solid pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 T molasses
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together with a wire whisk and spread over your favorite uncooked pie crust.

Walnut Layer:

2/3 cup light corn syrup
3 T butter, melted
1/2 T molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup broken walnuts

Whisk together all ingredients except nuts until smooth. Stir in walnuts. Pour over pumpkin layer.

Bake at 350ºF for 50 - 55 minutes or until set. Cool before cutting.

Glass Candy - Root beer/ Vanilla Rum

Root Beer Candy

Vanilla-Rum Candy

Homemade hardtack candy is ridiculously easy to make, and for some reason it has always made me feel like I'm in an 1800s General Store as a little girl in pigtails and an apron, looking at the big jars full of sparkling glass candy and deciding how to spend my penny.

I used this recipe but made a few minor changes. A candy thermometer makes it very simple.

3 3/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup water
1 T flavoring* (extract) (I divided the candy into two and flavored one with rootbeer extract and one with rum extract and vanilla extract)
1/2 food coloring (optional) (I didn't use any coloring)
butter (for pans)

*Note: 100% natural extracts can be purchased at Faerie's Finest.

Butter two cookie sheets.
Combine sugar, cornsyrup, and water in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil, then allow to boil until it reaches the temperature of 310ºF on the candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring and color. Pour over the two cookie sheets. As it is cooling, you can score the candy like I've done in this photo:

Once it is cool, the candy will break into squares. Or you can leave the candy smooth and break it to look like broken glass:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Black-Bottom Fresh Raspberry Pie

Fresh raspberries over chocolate ganache, covered with natural raspberry puree and whipped cream. Life doesn't get better than this! The following recipe is adapted from April Fossen's recipe which is an adaption from Dave's recipe and a black-bottom banana cream pie recipe from Bon Appetit, November 1991. So this pie was built on the shoulders of greater cooks than myself.

I'm going to let you use your own crust recipe. I've found that people are really particular about their crusts. I use a baked traditional crust made with butter and lard, but you can use a cookie crumb crust or anything you like.

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/8 cup heavy whipping cream
3 T unsalted butter

Stir these ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.

Fruit Filling:
3 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup frozen (or fresh) raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Combine 1 cup frozen raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until thick. Cool slightly.

Spread mostly cooled ganache over bottom of crust. Top with fresh raspberries. Top berries with cooked frozen raspberry mixture. Whip heavy cream with sugar (to taste) and top pie with cream. Sprinkle with extra bittersweet chocolate flakes.