Tag Archives: pumpkin

Make Ahead Breads For Easter

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Easter is a special time of year bringing joy to so many people around the world and Easter breads are distinctive.  Breads are of particular interest during this holiday with many nations having their own bread associated with this holy day.  I have collected these breads, sweet and savory from previous blogs that should fit right in.  There are breads for breakfast, brunch and dinner and there is time to make any of them.

All of them can be made ahead and frozen to ease the time crunch for Easter Day.

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic JamCream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam for Five Make Ahead Breads for Easter are a quick to make treat that fits right into any part of the day.  With only four ingredients, this is the easiest, most tender biscuit you are likely to encounter.  The Strawberry Balsamic Jam is a fast, refrigerator version that serves as the perfect foil for the biscuit.

Southern by region, beloved by the country, these biscuits and the jam can be made ahead.  The biscuits can be frozen and reheated by placing on a tray and heating in a 350°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The jam can be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving. Continue reading

Pumpkin Mousse Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

This recipe contains raw egg yolk and as such may not be the best choice for the elderly or very young. Although, I haven’t tried it, I can’t think of a reason the egg yolk can’t be omitted and still have a good dessert.

Pumpkin Mousse Torte I can’t even remember when we started making these at the bakery.  I do remember it took many tries to get the amount of gelatin just right so it would keep it firm but not turn rubbery, a sure sign of too much.  But I can sure tell you we sold hundreds and hundreds.

As popular as it was with my clients, I don’t think anyone could love this more than my grandson, Sam.  I do remember we had gone to Chicago to take care of him for a few days so his parents could have a weekend get-a-way.  Sam was still in a high chair and was a hugely picky eater – something that dismayed all of us. In an attempt to get something into him, I gave him a bite of my pumpkin mousse.  Well, that sure opened the floodgates!  I couldn’t scoop the dessert into a spoon and offload it into his mouth fast enough.  He barely swallowed and his mouth would fly open again for another bite.  He reminded me of baby birds being fed by their moms!  Sam even requested it for his 7th birthday cake.  Not an unusual request, except it was July in St. Louis.  Hot, hot, hot and humid!   Did I mention it was outdoors?

This is a very straight forward recipe with little to trip you up.  Just make sure everything for the pumpkin mousse is at room temperature.  Then the warm gelatin needs to be poured in a steady stream while the mixer is running.  If the pumpkin mixture is cold, the gelatin can immediately set forming undesireable rubbery blobs.  Very unappetizing!

A cheesecake pan is, as always, my recommendation over a springform pan.

A reader brought to my attention the need to do something with the leftover pumpkin. If you go  Streusel Topped Pumpkin Muffins  and you make  1 1/2 times the recipe you will use the remaining 3/4 can of pumpkin.  If you are a tad short, that’s fine.  They also freeze beautifully.  Continue reading

Fall Muffins – Apple, Pumpkin and Cranberry

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Mixed BasketWhile muffins are good all year long, I think of them particularly in the fall.  Temperatures start dropping, sweaters and jackets come out, massive amounts of colored leaves drift down in a lazy dance and it’s a good time to turn the oven on and bake a batch of muffins.  These easiest of baked goods are so simple to put together there is a term in baking called the muffin method.  Essentially all the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together separately.  They are then combined and that’s it.  Drop them into the cups, bake and enjoy.

What flavors are more indicative of fall than apples, pumpkin and cranberries?

As an added bonus, all these freeze well – if they stick around long enough.  They also have a good shelf life as they can be held at room temperature for a couple of days.  The size of the muffins can be increased if you want the large “Texas muffins”. Just fill the cups to the same height and bake a bit longer.  A tester should come out clean when inserted in the middle of a couple of muffins.  Be sure to test the ones on the inside of the muffin pan as they will be the slowest to finish.  As a generality, you will get about 1/3 less muffins.

So turn that oven on, get a couple of bowls and start mixing.  Bake one or bake them all.  Bake them large or bake them small.   A small investment in time will yield a big reward in enjoyment. Continue reading