I'm happy to report that I survived my move and am mostly unpacked. Thanks to some lovely friends and my family, it was quite easy and stress-free. I really like my new place, even if the kitchen is tiny and the oven is older than me (and that's no easy feat). I can't decide what I should bake first, though, so any suggestions are more than welcome. I've already done most of my TWD baking for the month, so it needs to be something else. Something special. But maybe not too special in case the oven is demented.
I made this ice cream last week, when it was unseasonably hot. I love pumpkin, and wanted to make something besides pie. Don't worry, I will be making a pie or two for Thanksgiving, which is on Monday. I thought about pumpkin bread, but it was too hot to turn the oven on. Pumpkin creme brulee sounded good too, but all the recipes had so much more cream than pumpkin. So, pumpkin ice cream it was. I adapted the recipe by doubling the pumpkin, as it was still too creamy for me. I hate eating ice cream and getting that greasy layer on the roof of my mouth. Aren't you glad I told you that? I found it a bit disturbing that the spice-infused custard tasted like pumpkin pie all on its own, showing how much it is the spices that tend to take centre stage. Oh, and I know many people swear by canned pumpkin and say it's just as good as fresh, but that's a lie. The colour of fresh pumpkin is a brilliant orange, while what comes out of the can is a muddy colour. It's fine for winter, if you haven't got a freezer full of your own pumpkin puree, but while they are in season I urge you to make your own. You may never go back to canned... I am very lucky that my aunt and uncle grow pumpkins on their farm and I always get at least 6 every fall. Some I use fresh, in pies, cakes, soups and more. Some I puree and freeze.
The tuiles were delicious: buttery, crisp, and full of maple flavour, but they were a giant pain in the ass! The recipe recommended baking them on a bare baking sheet and then removing them while warm to a rolling pin (for curved cookies), or to a rack (for flat cookies). I got lumps when I tried that. So, I put the batter in the fridge and thought I'd try another day. Next, I used a silicone liner and put 6 in the oven. I wandered out to the front porch, and wondered idly if I'd be able to hear the oven timer from there. The answer is no, but the smoke alarm was easily audible! When I pulled them out of the oven, the 6 cookies had gathered in the centre of the mat to form a giant black, lacy disc. Hmpf. Okay, time for one more try. This time I used parchment and stayed in the kitchen. I only baked two, and let them cool on the baking sheet. Perfect!
Pumpkin ice cream
Adapted from Craft of Baking, but found here
1½ cups (375 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) cream (I used whipping cream, but would go lighter next time)
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons (95 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup packed (60 g) dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum (optional, but keeps the ice cream a bit softer)
1½ cups (350 g) fresh pumpkin puree (instructions follow recipe)
1. In a medium saucepan mix the milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, ginger, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and salt.
2. Warm the mixture until hot and the edges begin to bubble and foam.
3. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually whisk in about half of the warm spiced milk mixture, stirring constantly.
4. Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
5. Strain into a bowl and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
6. Whisk in the vanilla, rum, and pumpkin puree. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Fresh pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 400℉. Wash and halve or quarter pie pumpkins, depending on size. Scrape out seeds and strings, and make sure you roast the seeds for a snack. Place pumpkin pieces in a large baking dish and add water to a depth of 1cm or ½". Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until pumpkin flesh is tender and easily pierced with a knife. Cool. Scrape flesh from skin and put through the finest blade on a food mill. Drain in a sieve over a bowl to get rid of excess water.
From Baking from my Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Translucent Maple Tuiles
Translucent Maple Tuiles
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
1. In a small bowl, using a sturdy rubber spatula or a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup together until light in color and texture. Gently stir in the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated. Cover the bowl, pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or for up to 1 week.
2. Getting ready to bake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have two unlined baking sheets at hand and, if you want to curve the cookies into their traditional tile shape, a rolling pin or a slender bottle.
3. Roll small scoops of dough between your palms to form balls the size of small cherries or hazelnuts, and put the balls 2 inches apart on the unbuttered baking sheets (I recommend parchment). Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the cookies spread and are golden coloured and honeycombed.
4. Immediately remove the baking sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest a few seconds and then, using a wide metal spatula, lift them from the sheets: The best way to do this is to carefully work the spatula under a cookie edge, then push the spatula beneath the cookie with a quick jerk. If the cookie crumples a bit, as it might, don't worry -- it will straighten out on the rolling pin or rack. For curved cookies, moving with alacrity, lay the cookies, a few at a time, over the rolling pin. Transfer the cookies to a rack after they have set -- under a minute -- or, if you want flat cookies, just cool them on a rack. If the cookies cool and stick stubbornly to the baking sheet, slide the sheet into the oven for another minute to warm them. I didn't try curved cookies with the parchment, but I bet laying the whole sheet of parchment could be draped over something curvy. If you want flat tuiles, just let them cool on the sheet and parchment and then peel them off. They are pretty delicate, and don't keep well, especially if it's humid.
Torview Toronto's colour of the month is orange. Wouldn't you know that it's my favourite colour?