Category: Thanksgiving

11/04/06

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts with Gingersnap Crust

Serves 8

Crust
4 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (about 60)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter and toss together until the mixture holds together when pressed. (Add an additional tablespoon of butter if necessary.) Pat into the bottom and slightly up the sides of eight 4 1/2-inch tartlet pans or a 10-inch springform pan. Bake about 7 minutes, or until set.

Meanwhile make the filling. Press the grated ginger against a fine sieve set over a small bowl, to extract the juice. Set aside the ginger juice and discard the pulp.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and salt. Beat until creamy and well combined, then add the ginger juice and the pumpkin puree and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each, but being careful not to overbeat and incorporate too much air. Pour the filling into the tart pans and return to the oven.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is just firm to the touch. Cool to room temperature, then chill 2 hours or overnight.

11/04/06

Indian Pudding

Serves 8

2 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups half and half
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9- x 5- x 3-inch Pyrex loaf pan.

Combine milk and cornmeal in a medium stainless or enamel saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until as thick as oatmeal. Remove from heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses, salt, butter, and cloves and 2 cups half and half. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and transfer to prepared loaf pan.

Place loaf pan inside a larger pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it rises halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake 1 hour, stirring after the first 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, peel and grate ginger. Press against a fine sieve or squeeze through a piece of cheesecloth to extract a tablespoon or two of juice.

After baking an hour, add ginger juice and remaining cup of half and half, and stir. Bake an additional hour, stirring each 1/2 hour. Serve immediately in small bowls or cups, or store in refrigerator and reheat over low heat.

11/04/06

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Makes about 3 cups

1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
3 oranges, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 to 4 serrano chiles, stemmed and diced (with seeds)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Finely chop the cranberries in a food processor or by hand. Combine in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix together. Set aside at room temperature 1 hour and then chill until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator as long as 3 days.

11/04/06

Roasted Onion Compote

Serves 6

1 3/4 pounds small white onions, with skins
1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon
1/2 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange onions in an even layer in a large baking sheet. Bake, shaking pan occasionally to ensure even roasting, about 40 minutes. The largest onion should feel soft when pressed. Set aside to cool. Trim ends and peel.

Slice bacon across width into 1/4-inch pieces. Fry until crisp in a large skillet. Drain off fat, leaving bacon in pan. Remove from heat. Pour in brandy, turn heat to high, and light alcohol with a match. When flame subsides, add cream, reserved onions, and pepper. Cook until cream is reduced by half. Serve immediately.