As I survey the colorful array of apples, pears, grapes, winter squash, persimmons, and pomegranates, they remind me of autumn jewels waiting for me to spirit them away to my kitchen. For me, it is the season to open the ovens, and bake those pies and tarts! I excitingly gloss over new recipes and retrieve the time-tested favorites. The first apple pie of the season is sort of a celebration in our house. With great anticipation, we can’t wait to have a flaky crust embrace these luscious slices in the hot oven. The apple pie I make is filled with the combination of what I name as the “3Gs” - Granny, Gala, and Golden Delicious apples and then it is covered with a rich brown sugar crumb topping. So good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on that crunchy topping!
The other classic pie I love to make is a pumpkin pie topped with pecans mixed in a little butter and brown sugar. Those pecans give it a "mmm...mmm" moment. I might even make a nutty pie crust to go with it. All in all, the permeating aroma of warmth and comfort signals the upcoming winter holiday season.
What a wonderful selection of dishes to create with this rich harvest. I just made a roasted butternut squash soup a week ago. It was easy to put together with just a few ingredients but what made it unique was an added sweet potato and touch of Chinese five-spice powder. Another favorite dish is a recipe that was demonstrated by Emeril Lagasse on the show Good Morning America ten years ago - “Baked Butternut Squash with Italian Sausage Stuffing”. Emeril filled it with a delicious sausage stuffing mixed and topped with mozzarella and Monterey jack cheese. I substitute the butternut squash with the round acorn squash, and it remains a big hit at Thanksgiving every year. You are welcome to these recipes.
Come join with me as we share and appreciate the last of the season’s bounty before earth’s quiet hibernation.
Tarts: Sweet and Savory by Maxine Clark
Best Recipe: Soups and Stews by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli
Pies, Pies, and More Pies by Viola Goren
Pie: 300 Tried- and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie by Kenneth Haedrich
Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts by Martha Stewart
300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds