I don’t even know how to begin – I feel like I should comment on the horrific attacks in Paris last night, but I have no clue what to say. It’s all still so raw, like waking up from a nightmare. What I can say is I don’t think this is over. Somehow this feels like a solid beginning of something, and not anything good. We were discussing that the attacks don’t seem so much acts of terrorism as they seem to be acts of war. I don’t know how this is going to affect the people over here. It’s weird, sitting in my sunny yard, looking at France from here. The borders are supposedly closed – if our little border crossing is closed right now, it would be the first time since we moved here. Everything seems so normal, but obviously nothing is. It’s all a bit surreal.
I was going to write some cute things about pumpkins, but they don’t really seem fitting right now. So, no cute stories, but if you’re looking for some yummy pumpkin recipes to help warm you up on cold, scary days like this one, here are a few I’ve been trying out these past weeks.
Pumpkin Ravioli (the original recipe can be found on Food.com)
One large package fresh ravioli (I used tomato and mozzarella)
2 tbsp white wine
¼ cup chopped green onion
½ cup butter
¾ cup cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Saute the green onions in the wine and butter over medium heat until the onions are softened. Stir in the pumpkin until heated through.
Blend in the cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the sage leaves, stirring well to combine. Remove from heat.
Prepare ravioli in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Spoon the warm sauce over the ravioli. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, parsley and toasted pine nuts.
Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup
This recipe, found on 101 Cookbooks, was was extremely tasty, with just the right amount of spice. If you like thai food, it’s a definite must.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Bars
Last but not least, I made some pumpkin pie spice bars. I’d struggled to make a decent pumpkin pie, largely because I such at making crusts (or, in this case, even rolling out a pre-made crust. I’m just … a pie disaster). But I had a lot of extra pumpkin pie filling, and it was really tasty, so I wanted to do it justice.
I had the genius idea to make a gingerbread crust. Clearly, I’m not the only one, because there are lots of pumpkin-type ginger-type crust bars out there. The only problem was getting my hands on some gingersnaps to make the crust. Gingersnaps aren’t super common over here. Luckily, we had a planned trip to IKEA coming up, so I was able to get some of the Swedish snaps and could make up these yummy bars.
The filling I made with Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe. The gingersnap crust comes from Creme de la Crumb Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. I’m sure either recipe is great on their own. Together, they make something really special (and easy!)
Pumpkin Pie Spice Bars
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
38 gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, melted and mostly cooled
For filling, whisk all the ingredients, from pumpkin puree to milk, together.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease.
In a food processor combine the gingersnap cookies, sugar, and cinnamon and pulse until fine crumbs form. Not having a food processor, I beat up the cookies with a mallet until they were nothing but powder. This was pretty traumatizing for X. Add melted butter and pulse again until mixture is completely moistened. Press gingersnap mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Pour filling over baked crust. Return pan to oven for 25-30 minutes until filling layer is set.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10-25 minutes, then transfer to fridge to chill. Cut into squares and top with whipping cream, chopped nuts, and sprinkled cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and serve.