October, what a great time of year. Halloween is such a fun holiday and combined with the harvest festivals and farm festivals that come right before, I always have fond memories of this time of year. October also means playoff MLB Baseball, the start of the NHL season and the NFL is in full swing. Lots of sports activities and lots of opportunities for some good eating!
The harvest brings out some fantastic foods such as apples, pumpkins, different varieties of squash, sweet potatoes and yams and all sorts of great fall food. I love pumpkins and squash myself and especially the apples. Hand picked right off the tree and fresh, delicious! And Apple Cider! Always a fall favorite whether chilled, warmed, or spiced with cinnamon. Hot Apple Cider on a cold October day warms the soul.
I always loved picking pumpkins and enjoy taking my own kids to pick pumpkins too. I always end up spending too much money but we enjoy decorating them for Halloween and making crazy designs. I’m the pumpkin artist in my family too, I guess you could say. Every year I try to do one intricate carving and something different from previous years and I usually take a few pictures so I’ll try to post some when I take some new ones.
The pumpkin pie always tastes best this time of year too. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for some homemade pumpkin pie:
Harvest Pumpkin Pie
Servings: 10; Cooking Time: Prep: 25 minutes, Cook: 105 minutes
2 deep dish, unbaked pie shells, thawed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten (for the leaves)
1 can (or 16 ounces fresh cooking pumpkins) pumpkin puree
⅔ cup firmly packed, light brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 cup heavy cream
⅓ cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Roll out one pie shell with a rolling pin.
- Using a paring knife, cut out leaves (as best as you can) of different sizes and then a large pumpkin shape. Make vines by wrapping dough around rolled up strips of tin foil.
- Place the cut-outs on a baking sheet. Brush each with the egg yolk and bake until browned, about 2-4 minutes.
- Remove decorations with a spatula and cool. Carefully slide the vines off of the foil to avoid breaking them.
- Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees.
- Place the remaining pie shell in a deep dish pie plate. Line the crust with foil. Fill the foil with dried beans and then bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove beans and foil and prick the dough with a fork. Bake an additional 6 minutes, then transfer the pie plate to a wire rack to cool (completely).
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Mix it well.
- Stir in the cream, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour into the cooled crust.
- Bake until the filling is just set and a knife or toothpick, inserted into the center, comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
- Arrange pumpkin cutout in the center of the pie. Arrange the vines and leaves around the pie in a decorative pattern, placing the leaves around the outside edge.
Bake the filling without the crust in a greased, rectangular pan. Serve squares with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon for a Harvest Custard. Also, when rolling the dough, lightly flour the rolling pan and work area to prevent the dough from sticking. You can also use wax paper on the top and bottom, and roll the dough between them.
You can print this recipe here: Harvest Pumpkin Pie
And here’s a recipe for some Candied Yams:
Servings: 6-8, Cooking Time: Prep: 5-10 minutes, Cook: 25-30 minutes
2 large cans of yams
2 cups of mini marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar
4-5 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Drain the juice off of your yams and place into a well-buttered glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar over top and then top with the marshmallows.
- Melt 2 tbsp of the remaining butter and sprinkle overtop the of marshmallows.
- Increase or decrease brown sugar or marshmallows according to taste.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the marshmallows are lightly browned.
Simple, easy recipe for Thanksgiving or anytime. To increase, you can easily make 1 ½ or double the recipe.
You can print this recipe here: Candied Yams