Simple Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe (vlog)

Thanksgiving is just one week away for us Canadians and around here that means a few constants such as pumpkin desserts, little boys in button-down shirts, and turkey dinner for fifty.

While pie is a staple on the sweet table, I like to round things out with a cool and creamy cheesecake, preferably pumpkin, since they are so plentiful now. A pie is best enjoyed warm from the oven (not always feasible on Turkey Day), but I’m convinced this chilled pumpkin cheesecake only gets better after a day or two in the refrigerator, making it the perfect do-ahead dessert.

I’m keeping this post short because you absolutely must watch my latest vlog. Not only do I demonstrate the easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made, but it is jam-packed full of practical kitchen shortcuts and time-savers! [Read more...]

Weekend Links: Canning 101 edition

Thanks to all who came and hung out during our Preserving Autumn week! I loved reading all your comments and hearing about your own kitchen experiments, projects, and preserving success.

Here’s further proof that the canning bug is spreading. Thank you to all who sent links and shared what you’ve put up this season!

Savory

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Preserving Autumn: Marisa’s Apple Butter Method

Written by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars.

In recent years, apple and pear butters have become integral parts of my fall. I spoon pear butter into my morning yogurt and spread apple butter on toast (often atop a primary layer of peanut butter). They are sweet, fairly healthy (as fruit spreads go) and I can’t bear to head into winter without five or six pints squirreled away in my coat closet.

I tend to make fruit butters in a two-day process. Here’s how I typically do it.

Cutting & Cooking

Starting with about seven pounds of whole pears or apples, I simply cut them into chunks (the apples get peeled, but I leave the skins on the pears) and cook them down into sauce with a little bit of water or cider, as Aimee demonstrated with her Classic Applesauce. When they can be squished with the flat side of a wooden spoon, I puree them with an immersion blender.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender (working carefully in batches) or a food mill to create a smooth sauce from the cooked fruit. If you simply wanted sauce, you could stop right here. Or you can proceed with cooking the sauce down into butter. [Read more...]

Preserving Autumn: Tomato Herb Sauce for Freezing

Written by Elizabeth of Guilty Kitchen.

When fall hits and you know you’ve got more tomatoes than anyone could ever eat fresh, no matter how many tomato and bocconcini salads, or BLTs, or tomato soup you serve, you know it’s time to think about canning or freezing. There is just always going to be an abundance of tomatoes when you grow your own.

Another thing in abundance at the end of the warmer weather is fresh herbs, waiting to be used up before the weather turns bleak and gray. What better way to combine tomatoes and herbs than making your own tomato sauce to freeze for later use in the doldrums of winter when you could really use that fresh, vibrant taste of homegrown? [Read more...]

Preserving Autumn: Classic Applesauce Recipe

What is there really to say about applesauce, except that it is essential? It’s one of the first solid foods most ever eat and remains high on the comfort food scale as you grow older. Making applesauce every autumn is obligatory around here and an obvious addition to our Canning 101 series.

Right now families are flocking to the orchards on the weekends for a favorite Québec fall pastime: apple picking. The apples that are gathered can keep for a few weeks or even months if stored properly, but the best way to extend their enjoyment is to preserve the harvest through canned homemade applesauce.

Stirred into yogurt, baked into cookies, or layered between crêpes are just a few of the ways we enjoy our applesauce. Then there’s always straight from the jar, with a spoon, just like when we were teething tots.

Here is a basic step-by-step tutorial on how I make and can my applesauce. It’s straightforward, easy to make in large batches and just delicious! [Read more...]