The Newbie Cook
- 19,839 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This afternoon, I cooked in Apartment #2 from noon ’til 5 pm. It was my turn to sponsor a dinner and I was determined to make things from scratch and not do the cowardly thing and call Domino’s. I decided that one of the four dishes would be pumpkin pie because I have an obsession with pumpkin and I have never made or even eaten a pumpkin pie. Thankfully, Serious Eats published a list of great pumpkin pie recipes. I selected one that looked most attractive and doable.
Due to my annoyance with my not-so-stellar pie crust the last time, I decided to try the attached pie crust procedure in the caramel pumpkin pie recipe from Gourmet. The result was much better! There was no dough shortage, the crust was perfectly thin, perfectly golden, and perfectly flaky.
I did change the procedure a little. Instead of molding the dough into a disk and chilling it for an hour before rolling it flat, I rolled it straight after making it. It was much more pliable, of course, and I transferred it on the pan and chilled it afterwards, pan and all.
After blind-baking, the result was a pale, golden yellow crust, which would turn into a richer color after baking with the filling. (I still need to work on my pie crust decorating skills, hehe.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures while making the filling. 😦 I was probably way too busy making the honey-glazed baked chicken at the same time and didn’t even think about photos. But I was excited about using ground cloves for the first time. I’ve never used cloves before in spite of it being a common ingredient in recipes involving pumpkin.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines or even here in Saudi Arabia so this is a very unusual dish for us, although I understand it’s quite common in Northern America. My friends thought it was odd but delicious… Unless they’re puling my leg. 🙂
I made two so the big one is for the dinner and the small one is for my roommate and a couple of friends. I forgot to mention that it was also my roommate’s last day in Saudi Arabia – she left for good after 19 years here – so we took her to the airport and I brought the small pie for snacks.
Okay, enough chatting. Here’s the recipe!
I stumbled upon this recipe by accident while I was Googling wedding cakes. Apparently, it’s a bohemian pumpkin spiced wedding cake. Recently, I’ve been having a love affair with pumpkin. I’ve tried pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and pumpkin oatmeal (oh yeah, it was good!). Why not pumpkin cake?
And since it’s the eve of my birthday, I thought a cupcake made from a spiced veggie would be a great idea. As usual, I pureed a fresh pumpkin myself.
I wonder if it’ll be as tasty as the carrot and ginger and cinnamon muffin. Or the whole-wheat apple muffins.
They smelled heavenly even while in the oven.
I made the best ever frosting again. And I did it properly this time. One has to stir constantly over very low heat and not leave the stove alone even if you get bored!
I only ate one. And made sure I had enough packed for tomorrow. The rest are Dad’s since he’s been impatiently eying them.
In spite of the above, I still managed to bake a couple of small, frosted chocolate sheet cakes for my godson, Tobey. His 6th birthday is the day after mine, but he’s celebrating it in school tomorrow. Happy birthday, Tobey!!!
I’ve been wanting to try the pumpkin rolls from The Kitchn ever since I saw the recipe last week. I’ve never made bread before and I figured I may as well start with yummy cinnamon rolls with a vegetable mixed in.
I had a lot of time in my other kitchen (I live in 2 apartments) after I did the laundry. I didn’t have pumpkin so I used butternut squash. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree but I don’t think we have that in Saudi Arabia, or at least not where I go food shopping, so I just peeled, chopped, boiled and pureed the squash. I wished I had roasted pecans but I would have to add that the next time I make this. The amount of butter and sugar required to make this made me feel guilty so I substituted around half of of the flour with whole-wheat flour and added a bit more squash.
There was a minor incident with regard to the yeast. I used active dry yeast and though I’ve seen my mom use this ingredient so often in the past, I never paid attention. After one hour, the dough refused to rise as promised so I Skyped my mother and asked her.
Mom: Did you use lukwarm water?
Me: Er… very hot water.
Mom: You killed the yeast! It’s ok, the dough can be salvaged. Just add the yeast again. Mix it in a cup of lukewarm water first and if it rises in the cup, work it into your dough.
I did exactly what she said, added more whole-wheat flour, and covered the dough. I had enough time to go to the gym and clean up. After an hour an half, the dough had doubled. The rolling pin was in my other kitchen so I just beat the dough with my well-floured fists into a rectangle over a clean, floured counter. I thought 2 tablespoons of cinnamon wasn’t enough so I added more cinnamon and used less sugar for the filling. Rolling the dough into a cylinder was harder than I thought as the dough was so sticky!
After around 25-30 minutes, the rolls were fragrant and ready. I left a tray to my roommate and a couple of friends and brought the other tray to my father. They all liked them, especially with tea or coffee, but Dad felt bad we didn’t have pecans. All I had were the leftover chopped almonds from the cake that morning so I used that instead.
The original recipe used sugary drizzle but I opted not to. For the sake of those who want to risk the calories, I’ll include the drizzle recipe here.