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Posts Tagged ‘fall’

Easy Autumn Apple Pie

Now that the slew of friendly neighborhood ghouls, ghosts and goblins have swept in and out for yet another year, it’s time to blow out the candles nestled within our jack-o’-lanterns one last time and return focus to the vast moody beauty of Autumn and her boundless harvest.  She calls for a day of strolling through crunchy leaves, sipping our favorite hot espresso and savoring, with ample time on your side, a slice of fresh apple pie straight from the oven.  And not just any ‘ole apple pie.  This is the speediest and easiest apple pie recipe in the world.  Okay, maybe not THE world.

But definitely — in my world.

It all happens in one bowl.  There’s no crust.  No fuss.  No mess.  Which means, less washing up (especially when the plate is licked clean).  It makes a perfect afternoon treat to nibble on while sitting on your backyard swing.  Or, in our case, a perfect ending to a day spent roaming through the nooks and crannies of our favorite paths and parks.  If you’re ever in need of a quick dessert everyone will love for a mid-week impromptu dinner party or gathering, look no further.  Turn to this pie.  It won’t let you down.  Ever.  Especially given the onslaught of holiday soirees and the like, in the months ahead, you’ll want to have this delectable and dependable weapon in your arsenal.

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EASY AUTUMN APPLE PIE
Tweaked from Easy Swedish Apple Pie

I know there are a lot of die hard fans of solely using Granny Smith Apples for pies, but I like using apples I like to eat most – Fuji, Gala, and of course, I’ll throw in a pear for good measure.

Music Pairing: Don McLean, Bye Bye Miss American Pie

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium apples and/or pears – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss apples and pear with 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and lemon juice.  Pour into deep dish pie plate.  Thoroughly mix together flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla and egg.  Spread evenly over the top of pie.

Bake until apples and pears have cooked and the topping is golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

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Pumpkin Patch Soup

I love pumpkin picking.  I love the sense of a community harvest.  I love that it marks the official start of Autumn.  I love the sheer excitement of every busy pumpkin seeker and onlooker, big and small, young and old.  I love the unmistakable look of joy and accomplishment when the perfect pumpkin is found.  I love the hayrides.  I love the hot apple cider.  I love the shades of orange strewn across the patch.  But, most of all, I love pumpkin picking because it means:  pumpkin soup.

This pumpkin soup comes together in a snap and oozes of fall flavors and aromas.  Nutty, spicy, wholesome goodness that tastes like it’s been simmering away for days.  Except it’s only been 30 minutes.  One whiff and you know you’re well on your way to a cozy evening of warm and delicious nourishment – preferably in front of a roaring fire.  Slurp away.

Not a bad way to end a day of harvesting at the pumpkin patch.

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PUMPKIN PATCH SOUP
Tweaked from Bon Appétit, yields 8 servings

Look for the cute, smaller “sugar” pumpkins for cooking and save the big momma ones for your jack-o’-lanterns.

Music Pairing: Perfect, Smashing Pumpkins (love, love, love this song)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • large pinch of cayenne
  • large pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 cups pumpkin, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • splash of milk

Method

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a 4-6 quart dutch oven.  Add carrot, potato, onion, garlic, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 4-5 minutes.  Add pumpkin, spices, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, 30 to 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Working in small batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Be careful to keep the lid tightly fitted!  Return soup to pot.  Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar and milk.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, return soup to pot and reheat over low heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream and splash of tobasco (optional).

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