Pumpkin Paradise

  
These days, way before you smell the crisp fall air, see leaves turning, or start wearing long sleeves, you are smacked in the face with the arrival of the pumpkin. This popular gourd signals autumn before anything else whether it be in lattes, baked goods, or home decor. But who’s complaining?! 

The thing that immediately comes to my mind though, is always, pumpkin pie. (And pumpkin soup, but that’s another post for another day.) 

Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Beauty & The Butcher’s Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (I like to use Pilsbury pie dough and form in it in the pan myself but you could use a pre-baked pie shell, ooh graham cracker might even be good!)
  • Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?! If you’ve never made your own it’s very simple, just mix about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and with a whisk attachment beat the daylights out of it until it’s firm and full of little peaks. But don’t over mix, that’s how you get butter!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  • Pour into pie shell.
  • Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving. 

I’m going to be honest, yours might not taste quite as good as mine unless you also have an heirloom pumpkin pie dish and a crate & barrel plate that says “easy as pie” to serve it on. But you can certainly try! 

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Pie Paraphernalia

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Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.
Beauty & The Butcher Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
1 can evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?!)

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving.

Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

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Have an abundance of summer tomatoes but no idea what to do with them? Try this delicious and easy tomato goat cheese tart. Make it as an appetizer or a main dish with salad. Or hey, even breakfast, why not?! All you need is 4 ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need:

Beauty & The Butcher’s Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

1 small log goat cheese room temp
1 store bought pie crust
2 oz. Cream Cheese room temp
6 plum tomatoes or 3 large of whatever variety you like

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Preheat oven to 350. Line tart pan with pie crust and trim edges if necessary. If you don’t have a tart pan (a round shallow pan with fluted edges and a removable bottom) then I highly suggest getting one, they’re very affordable and can be found in most stores. A pie plate will do in a pinch though. Mix the cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl with a little kosher salt (I used a goat cheese with herbs already infused into it but if you can’t find it then use plain and add whatever herbs you like such as thyme, rosemary, and basil.) Spread cheese mixture on top of crust in a thin even layer. Slice tomatoes in thin rounds, squeeze out extra juices, and layer them, covering the cheese until you can’t see it anymore. Sprinkle with kosher salt and more herbs if you’d like. Bake for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for about an hour to firm up any remaining tomato juice. Reheat briefly before serving or serve at room temp. Enjoy!

apple of my pie

IMG_1628Who doesn’t love a good slice of apple pie? If you don’t then I am confident in saying there’s something seriously wrong with you and we may have to just part ways here and now. However, if you agree with me, let’s continue. I’d first like to add though, that I do not however, agree with putting vanilla ice cream with your pie. If a pie is well made, it can stand on its own two feet and doesn’t need a sweet, cold, easily melted counterpart oozing toward it on the plate. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream, but there’s a time and a place and on the plate next to apple pie is not that place. Can you tell I don’t like my food to touch? But that’s another blog for another day. If you’re not already mad at me for my ice cream rant, you may get mad now…I don’t have a recipe for my apple pie. A good apple pie is truly so simple that if you just throw the right ingredients together, its bound to be delicious. First you want to start with a good crust. Of course homemade is always better but who has time for making their own pie crust when the store-bought version is really almost as good? Next comes the apples. Most old school apple pie aficionados use all Granny Smith apples but I’m not a huge fan of those green packages of extreme tartness so I just throw one in for good measure. The rest of the apples are usually Gala or Pink Lady. I like to use about 4 apples in my pie so 3 red and one green. After peeling and slicing the apples into thinish wedges, I put them in a bowl with a few tablespoons of cold diced butter, a pinch of salt, a healthy dose of cinnamon, about 1/2 cup of both white and brown sugar, touch of nutmeg, and, last but certainly not least, (as this is the true secret to a good apple pie)….flour. Why, you ask? The flour acts as a thickening agent to bind all the juices together and thicken them so the pie isn’t too runny and you don’t end up with a soggy bottom. hehe. It’s a delicate thing adding flour because too little and it does nothing, but too much and you can taste the flour, which is never good. So usually a few tablespoons and you’re good to go. Once everything is combined, pour it into your pie plate (which should already be lined with a layer of crust) and cover with crust. Crimp the edges as you desire and if you have a little dough left over, I like to make a little design on top, like the tiny hearts in the picture. Your oven should be at 400 but before you slide that baby in, here’s another little trick I’ve discovered over the years. Some people like to brush their crust with an egg wash. Not this girl. I use cream! Or milk. Either works. Pour a little bit of either one into a measuring cup and brush over your crust (don’t forget the edges!) with a pastry brush then sprinkle with a little coarse sugar before it dries. This will ensure a nice shiny crust with a little extra sweetness every time. Bake it for….um…a certain amount of time….I’m sorry ok?! I don’t have any exact details here but come on, when it’s golden and brown and your house smells like the Yankee Candle store in the middle of Autumn then you know it’s done. As much as you may want to enjoy it right away. fight the urge. By letting it cool, you’re allowing the juices to firm up a bit and all the flavors to really meld. Now at this point, the whole ice cream option is really up to you, but you already know how I feel about that….