Pumpkin Soup

May 17, 2010

This isn’t a soup, actually, it’s more like a gratin baked right inside the pumpkin. I was 21, and I didn’t care that it was incredibly rich. Today I mix the cream with chicken broth (about a cup and a half of cream to about a cup of broth). It’s STILL pretty much of a heart-stopper but it’s irresistible.

Another helpful hint: If you brush the outside of the pumpkin with oil, it will look better when it emerges.

Go out and buy a fairly small pumpkin with a flat bottom. Cut off the top, as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern, and hollow it out. Spread the seeds out and dry them to eat later.

Now get a good loaf of French bread, slice it and toast it lightly. Grate a goodly amount of one of the Swiss cheeses – Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Appenzeller (you’ll need about 12 ounces). Layer the toast and cheese inside the pumpkin until it’s almost full (leave a half inch on the top because the filling will expand a bit).

Mix 1 cup of chicken stock into a cup and a half of cream. Add a teaspoon of salt. Grind in some black pepper and grate in some nutmeg. Then fill the pumpkin almost to the top with this mixture, replace the top of the pumpkin and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours.

Bring the whole pumpkin to the table. When you serve it be sure to scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cheese and the cream. Serve with a light second course.

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Sour Cream Apple Pie

May 17, 2010

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • pastry for a 1-crust pie.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix sugar with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, spices, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix in the apples.

Fit the crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Put the apple mixture in.

Mix the half cup flour with the remaining brown sugar and cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle over the pie. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 10 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 and bake another 35 to 40 minutes.

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Sweet Potato Pie

May 17, 2010

This is a lot like pumpkin pie, but richer, sweeter, and with a softer texture. I prefer it.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • chopped nuts, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • Pastry for a 1-crust pie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out the dough and fit into a 9 inch pie pan; crimp the edges. Put into the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Remove pie shell from freezer, prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork, line with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and weights and bake 10  minutes more. Remove from oven and turn heat up to 400 degrees.

In a bowl beat the sugar into the mashed sweet potatoes. Beat in the eggs, then the butter. Add remaining ingredients and pour into the pie shell (it will be quite liquid).

Bake about 3/4 hour.

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Cheese Fondue

May 17, 2010

  • 3/4 pound Gruyere
  • 1/2 pound Emmenthal
  • handful of flour
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 ounces Kirsch
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg

Grate the cheeses.  Toss with the flour, so that it’s coated.

Rub a pot with the clove of garlic. Pour the wine into the pot and heat until the bubbles start. Throw the cheese in and stir until it’s melted.

Add the kirsch.  If you don’t have kirsch, add another not too sweet liqueur, but go easy. Too much will ruin the fondue.

Place the fondue on the table over some source of heat.  If you don’t have a chafing dish you can get by, but you will probably have to either eat very fast or reheat the fondue a couple of times.

Everyone just sits around dunking the bread into the pot until they’re full or there is no more.  If you have leftovers, don’t despair. Fondue sandwiches are delicious.  Simply put the cold fondue on bread and slip it under the broiler for a minute.

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Apricot Upside-Down Cake

May 17, 2010

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 large can apricots in syrup
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Stir in the brown sugar and the nuts.  Arrange the apricots, cut side up, in the pan. Save the liquid.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the sugar, mix well, and beat in 8 tablespoons of the apricot juice.  Add the vanilla.

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Mix into the yolk mixture.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.  Pour over the apricots.

Bake about 1 hour. 

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