Tag Archives: pumpkin

Roasted Plum and Pumpkin Hand Pies

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Wow! A pumpkin recipe…very original this time of year. But how could I not? I’ve been bombarded with everything pumpkin for the past few weeks now. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin spice everything. I even saw a picture for pumpkin spice tampons, which I’m sure was a joke. There are pumpkins for sale at every store and every corner so naturally I had to pick a few up. I had never actually cooked a fresh pumpkin before but since the little pie pumpkins were only $1.29 each I really couldn’t have gone wrong.

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Since I had some blue plums left over I decided to roast them with a little sugar and make plum pumpkin hand pies. Maybe it sounds like a weird combination but since they’re both in season, why not? It seemed like a great idea to me and also I could’ve called them Plumkin Hand Pies. What a cute name, right? No…no that’s not right. I did a quick google search to see if the name “Plumkin” had been used before, because I was sure it must’ve. Nothing is ever original anymore, especially with the internet. So, my results were not what I was expecting. If you’d like, you can look it up yourself because I don’t think the definition of a “plumkin” is appropriate for a food blog. Unless you like throwing up while looking at pretty pictures of food.

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Um, so back to the food! These little pies are made with my one and only favourite pie crust, the salted butter pie crust. Which, I really do believe is the key to a good pie, no matter what the filling is. Without this crust all pies are mediocre, in my opinion. Each mini pie gets a dollop of spiced creamy pumpkin puree and half a beautifully dark roasted plum. The filling is a perfect offset to the salted butter crust and the size makes them great for a snack, plus they’re super cute.

Mini Roasted Plum Pumpkin Hand Pies with Salted Butter Crust
Makes 20 2×2″ pies filled with spiced pumpkin and roasted plum

Pumpkin Puree:
1 small pie pumpkin ( or 110g of canned pumpkin puree)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 packed tablespoons of brown sugar

Roasted Plums:
10 small blue/damson plums, halved lengthwise and pitted
3 tbsp caster sugar

Salted Butter Crust:
250g all purpose flour
225g cold, salted butter, cut into small pieces
about 1/4 cup of cold water

1 egg and a little water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375˚F

Cut off stem and halve pumpkin and scrape out seeds. Rub the inside of the pumpkin with a few drops of vegetable oil. Line a rimmed tray with foil and place pumpkin halves skin side up. Roast in oven for about an hour or until soft.

While the pumpkin is baking, prepare plums. Lay the halves skin side down in a roasting tray and sprinkle sugar evenly over top. Place into oven with the pumpkin and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until juices are bubbling and the plums have softened.

Make the crust by combining the flour and butter in a food processor then adding the water, a little at a time while the machine runs and until the dough starts to come together. Knead lightly by hand. If making by hand, cut the butter into the flour until crumbly. Add the water and mix and form into a dough. Flatten with the palms of your hands and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Let plums and pumpkin cool to room temperature. Once the pumpkin has cooled, scrape it out of its skin. Puree in a food processor. I only used about half a cup of puree (110g). The rest of the pumpkin can be used in cakes, pies, cookies, stews, soups, etc. Blend the spices into your half a cup of puree.

Roll out the dough to about 3mm thick and cut out squares with a cookie cutter or with your knife. I made mine with a 2×2″ cutter. Different shapes can be used as well. Gather the scraps and refrigerate while you fill the pies.

To fill the pies, first lay out half the squares and brush the edges with egg wash. Place about a tsp of pumpkin puree into the middle of the square and top with half a roasted plum. Take another square and gently press it between your fingers to make the surface larger. Place it on top of the filling and gently press it down on all sides. Using a fork, seal the edges, either with the tips of the fork or the whole side. Repeat with the rest of the squares. Place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and repeat with the leftover scraps of dough. Once all the hand pies are ready to be baked, brush with egg wash and bake at 375˚F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Can be left at room temperature for a couple days in a sealed container and then refrigerated for about a week. Reheat in low oven.

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Winter Millet Porridge

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It’s day 9 of my elimination diet.

So far I think I’ve been doing pretty good! I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes over the past week and some of them have been great and some not. Last week I decided to make my own coconut milk yoghurt. The thought of a creamy, coconut-y, slightly tangy bowl of yoghurt sounded amazing to go with the buckwheat granola clusters I had made earlier. The only problem was that I didn’t have a way of keeping my yoghurt at exactly 110˚F for 8 hours. So I decided to be “thrifty” and use my portable heater between two chairs with a cardboard box on top to trap the heat.

And it worked.

I mean, I managed to keep it at 110˚F for 8 hours, I didn’t say the yoghurt worked. At first it was all slightly sour and stuff but by the next day when I opened up the container it managed to smell exactly like….eggs. Oh mmm, who doesn’t want to be eating a bowl of egg flavoured coconut yoghurt?

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So that one was a bit of a failure.

But, today I made a lovely, warming bowl of porridge. See, for many in the northern hemisphere spring is starting to crop up. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, buds are peeking out of their branches and people are getting their bikes out in preparation for biking weather. But no, not here, not in Toronto. It’s still well below zero, still no signs of spring, and no signs pointing toward me biking around in shorts any time soon. It’s winter. So I made myself something warm, hearty, and slightly colourful to cheer myself up since I know spring isn’t coming any time soon for me.

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What I made was a pumpkin pie millet porridge topped with buckwheat granola clusters, pecans, flax meal, and maple syrup. The nutmeg and cinnamon give this dish a warming and comforting feel while the millet gives a nice change from the usual oatmeal.

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Apparently millet is what bird feed is made up of. But I don’t mind eating bird food if it tastes this good.

Pumpkin Pie Millet Porridge
Makes 3 servings
Adapted slightly from Sarah Britton’s Recipe at My New Roots

1/2 cup of millet (soaked in water for 8 – 24 hours)
1/2 cup of canned or homemade pumpkin puree
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped or 1 tsp of vanilla essence
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
2 cups of almond coconut milk or almond milk
a few tablespoons of maple syrup to taste
buckwheat granola clusters, chopped pecans, flax meal, and shredded coconut for topping

Drain and rinse the soaked millet. Combine in a medium pot with pumpkin, salt, vanilla (bean and seeds), spices, and almond coconut milk. Bring to a boil on medium heat while stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Texture should be rather liquidy but if not, add a bit more milk. Remove vanilla bean. Add maple syrup according to taste (I added about 2 tbsp). Portion into bowls and top with extra milk, maple syrup, buckwheat granola, flax, coconut, and whatever else you’d like.

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