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Archive for 2009

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Oct
16
2009

Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver Recipes for October 16-23

boygirlpumpkin

Hope you all are enjoying lovely Autumn weather while we are about to drown here!  SO MUCH RAIN!

Last week I told you I would see what I could find on canning pumpkin or preparing a fresh pumpkin for cooking.  I found a great place online that gave a link to a pdf file that you can print out.  Cool huh?  Here is the link: Pick Your Own’s Making a Pumpkin Pie From Fresh Pumpkin and Canning Cubed Pumpkin from The Pumpkin Nook.  Canning pureed pumpkin is not recommended by The National Center for Home Food Preservation. I know, I wanted to know WHY too.  So here is what I found:

The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a land-grant university consortium sponsored by the USDA, and considered to be the leading authorities on food safety science and food preservation research.  This is from their literature:

“Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash, but we do have directions for canning cubed pumpkin. Pumpkin puree can be frozen or made into a spicy pumpkin leather…

There are not sufficient data available to allow establishing safe processing times for any of these types of products. It is true that previous USDA recommendations had directions for canning mashed winter squash, but USDA withdrew those recommendations…

Some of the factors that are critical to the safety of canned pumpkin products are the viscosity (thickness), the acidity and the water activity. Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota in the 1970’s indicated that there was too much variation in viscosity among different batches of prepared pumpkin purees to permit calculation of a single processing recommendation that would cover the potential variation among products (Zottola et. al, 1978). Pumpkin and winter squash are also low-acid foods (pH > 4.6) capable of supporting the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can cause the very serious illness, botulism, under the right storage conditions. If the bacteria are present and survive processing, and the product has a high enough water activity, they can thrive and produce toxin in the product. (Botulism very, very bad!)

More recent research with pumpkin butter has been done at the University of Missouri. Pumpkin butter is mashed or pureed pumpkin that has had large quantities of sugar added to it, but not always enough to inhibit pathogens. Sometimes an ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice is added to the formulation to increase the acidity (decrease the pH). However, pumpkin butters produced by home canners and small commercial processors in Missouri have had pH values as high as 5.4. In fact, the pH values seemed to be extremely variable between batches made by the same formulation (Holt, 1995).

It is not possible at this point to evaluate a recipe for pumpkin or mashed squash for canning potential by looking at it. At this point, research seems to indicate variability of the products is great, and in several ways that raise safety concerns. It is best to freeze pumpkin butters or mashed squash.”

Obviously, pumpkin pie filling is essentially “pureed pumpkin” and similar to pumpkin butter. This means that neither the cooked pumpkin puree not the pumpkin pie filling (puree plus sugar and spices) would be candidates for safe home canning.

The University of Illinois Extension also says: “Canning pumpkin butter not a good idea, but try pieces or freezing. “

So there you have it.
greenribbon
FINALLY, here are your two recipes for this week.  Happy Baking!

Easy Pumpkin Bars

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 C. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cream Cheese Frosting or Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan. Mix together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar with an electric mixer. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center springs back when touched. Serve with whipped topping or frost with a cream cheese frosting.


Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until light. Add vanilla and mix well. Add confectioners sugar a cup at the time and when all in incorporated beat on high until light and spreading consistency.

This recipe sounded so good!  I am going to try and talk Rachel in to making these for us.  She’s had great success with pretzel making.

Soft Pumpkin Pretzels

1 1/4 cup warm water plus up to 1/4 more as needed
1 teaspoon  granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
kosher salt, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds for garnish

For Boiling:
8 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda

In a big bowl dissolve the sugar in 1 1/4 cups warm-to-the-touch water.  Add the yeast and let sit a few minutes until the yeast proofs.  Stir in the canned pumpkin.Stir in the flours and salt and mix to form a dough. If the dough seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together.  Hand knead for ten minutes, or five minutes in a mixer with a dough hook. Put the olive oil in a big bowl and turn the dough around in the oil until the sides of the bowl are oiled and the surface of the dough is covered in a light film. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 50 minutes.


Preheat oven to 475F.

In a pot with high sides (the water will foam up once the pretzels are added), bring 8 cups of water to a boil with the baking soda. Divide the dough into six even pieces. One by one, carefully roll them into a coil that is 19″ long and about 3/4-1″ thick. Carefully twist each rope into a pretzel shape and pinch the ends of the rope to the body of the pretzel so they stay in place. Boil three pretzels at a time for one minute, flip over with tongs and boil the second side for another minute. Place on a greased  cookie sheet  or one covered in parchment and lightly blot off any foam with a towel. Quickly sprinkle with seeds and salt so they stick to the moist dough. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until deeply browned on top.

Oct
11
2009

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

THE NEW ISSUE OF SMALL TOWN LIVING IS UP!

Small_Town_Living_Oct_Nov_09WebThumb

AND YES, I HAVE NOT ONE BUT TWO ARTICLES THIS MONTH.

SO GET OVER THERE AND READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Oh and they have a new blog too … go here to see it.

Oct
06
2009

Recipe of the Day: Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Roulade

You might have noticed the fact that I am all about a pumpkin. Growing them, cooking them, displaying them, selling them.  This is a roulade we made long ago, with another recipe, that I can’t find.  So here is one I am going to whip up.  And seriously, when I saw the word mascarpone, I was sold.  What else could a recipe that calls for pumpkin AND marscapone be, but GOOD?

roulade

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

For the filling:

  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
  • Pinch kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don’t press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and cream together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Stir in the crystallized ginger, and salt.

To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel as a guide. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve sliced.

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