Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hearts and Bellies

Fall has quickly come upon us here in central Missouri. The wind blows cold with a slight bite to it. The leaves are changing brilliant colors then floating down to the ground to be crunched underfoot. Stacks of wood grow higher and higher and fires have begun to be lit in fireplaces keeping fingers and toes toasty warm. And through all this is the smell of quickly approaching snow. We must keep our hearts and bellies warm through the changing of the seasons! Here are a few yummy recipes to at least keep your bellies warm and full…

Pumpkin Puree (to be used in Pumpkin Pie)

· Sugar or baking pumpkin
· Water
1. Halve pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membranes (save seeds)
2. Place face down in a deep baking pan with 1” of water
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes or until shell puckers and is fork tender
4. Let cool
5. Scoop out flesh
6. Puree and use as needed

Flakey Pie Crust

· 1.5 cups flour
· 1/3 cup cold water
· ¾ to 1 cup shortening
1. Cut flour and shortening together with a pastry blender, until pea sized lumps form
2. Sprinkle the mixture with water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until dough sticks together
3. Roll out the dough between 2 tea towels or wax paper pieces until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick and 1 or 2 inches wider than your pie pan
4. Place the dough in the pie pan, shape and seal any broken pieces

Pumpkin Pie (makes two 9 inch pies)

· Fresh pie crust (see recipe above)
· 1 cup brown sugar
· 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon ground cloves
· 1 teaspoon ground allspice
· ½ teaspoon ground ginger
· ½ teaspoon salt (optional, I don’t use any)
· 3 large eggs
· 3 cups pumpkin puree
· 1.5 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk
1. Mix all ingredients well with a hand mixer or blender
2. Pour into the pie crust
3. Bake the pies at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Cool and enjoy!


· Any number and type of apples
· Cinnamon
· Sugar
1. Peel, core and cut apples into slices/chunks
2. Place apples in a slow cooker on medium heat
3. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
4. Cook until tender
5. Mash apples to desired consistency

Baked Apples

· Any number and type of apples
· Brown sugar
· Cinnamon
· Butter
1. Core apples ¾ of the way through, leaving the bottom closed
2. Mix enough brown sugar and cinnamon together and fill each apple center
3. Place a dab of butter on top of each apple
4. Place in a deep baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes

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