Cranberries have a distinct sweet-tart flavor that is what people love about them. Cranberries are often paired with flavors – such as oranges or lemons – that highlight the tartness of the berries and brings it out more. This is definitely a classic approach, but sometimes I want to highlight the sweetness of my cranberries and play down that tartness a little bit. One way to do this is by introducing other berries to a sauce to play up those berry flavors and minimize that tang.
My Vanilla Cranberry Sauce with Blueberries is on the sweeter side of things, although the cranberries still deliver a good amount of tart flavor to the sauce. The sauce starts off with plenty of fresh cranberries (frozen, not defrosted will work, too) that are cooked with some sugar and blueberries. Vanilla is added at the end to finish the sauce. The sauce takes just a few minutes to put together and has a great combination of sweet blueberries, bright cranberries and smooth vanilla. It is easy to eat by the spoonful, but tastes great when served as a Thanksgiving side dish or when slathered on a leftover turkey sandwich.
The blueberries add a nice sweetness to the cranberries, and give the sauce a color that is really vibrant – much deeper than cranberries along typically deliver. As with the cranberries, fresh or frozen blueberries can be used, but fresh blueberries will finish a little bit better because they won’t break down quite as much as frozen blueberries will.
The sauce should be cooled before serving, and if it is stored in an airtight container, it will store very well when kept in the fridge. +Continue Reading
Pumpkin is a great addition to yeast breads and rolls because it adds a lot of moisture that keeps the breads nice and soft. It also adds a subtle and slightly sweet flavor to the bread, too. These Browned Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls get both of these benefits from the pumpkin puree in the recipe, as well as gaining just a little bit of heartiness that makes these dinner rolls both tasty and satisfying. They are great with all kinds of soups and chilis, and they go especially with with big roasts (like a turkey dinner!) because they sop of gravy very, very well.
The browned butter is also an important component of this recipe. Melted butter could be used instead, but browned butter has a slightly nutty flavor that makes the rolls a little more unique – and just a little more irresistible. When you brown the butter, whether you do it on the stovetop or in the microwave, brown a little extra butter than is called for in the dough and set it aside. Use this extra butter to brush the tops of the rolls before and after baking to give them a little extra flavor and a nice finish.
The amount of flour in these rolls is approximate for two reasons. First, your climate can have a big impact on how much water your dough will need. Second, the consistency of your pumpkin puree can bring more or less moisture to the dough. If your puree has more water, you may need to add a little more flour than the recipe calls for, so be flexible and add a little more flour as needed to get the dough nice and elastic. The rolls can be shaped in to any size. You can also bake the individually, on a baking sheet, instead of all together in a baking dish as I have done. I personally like the “pull apart” style of dinner roll, and baking the rolls in a baking dish also means that you don’t need to be an expert at shaping dough into rolls to get great results.
These rolls keep very well for several days when kept well-wrapped, so they can be made a day or so in advance of serving them. +Continue Reading
Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are one of my favorite fall recipes, both because they are very tasty and because they are intriguing to people. The cupcakes have the same custardy texture as a pumpkin pie filling, but have just enough substance to them to hold together without a traditional crust. They’re delicious.
I get a lot of requests for video of this recipe and questions about the recipe. Many people have a hard time visualizing what the “crust” of these mini pies looks like. It is not a traditional pie crust, and it forms almost by magic when the cupcakes bake. The “crust” is formed by a small amount of flour in the batter that forms a firm crust-like layer on the sides and base of the pie – meaning that you can pick these pies up with your hands yet still enjoy the soft, traditional pumpkin pie filling in each bite. They’re called Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes because it is (almost) impossible that you can have such a delicate custard center without a traditional crust.
I put together a video that shows the whole recipe, from start to finish, where it is easy to see the texture of the batter and the cupcakes every step of the way. Just watching it puts me in the mood to bake another batch!
These Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Chipotle Sauce are a great way to put leftover Thanksgiving turkey to good use, but they’re just as good any time of the year. The easy-to-make enchiladas have a turkey filling and are covered with a homemade sauce that uses pumpkin puree and chipotle peppers for a spicy-sweet finish.
When preparing the enchiladas, I start with the sauce. I use canned pumpkin puree, tomato paste, a little garlic and minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I like my enchiladas to be on the spicy side, so I tend to add a little extra pepper to my sauce when I’m making it. Feel free to add a little more (or a little less) as needed when you’re making your sauce. Once the sauce is prepared, fill up slightly warmed corn tortillas with your shredded turkey and cover with the sauce before baking. I typically add a very small handful of cheese to my filling, but I put most of it on top of the dish so that it makes a nice golden topping.
I bake this dish as a casserole, placing my filled corn tortillas in a large baking dish and covering them with sauce. It is an easy way to prepare them, but I find that it also allows me to get an extra few servings out of the dish, which is always a plus if you either have a big crowd to serve or simply like leftovers. I primarily use mozzarella cheese, and I also add some fresh cohita cheese (there are actually many brands of slightly salty fresh Mexican cheeses that you can use in place of the cohita, in case you can’t find it) because it lends a nice saltiness to the mozzarella layer.
If you don’t have leftover turkey on hand, know that this recipe works very well with roasted chicken. It is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner if you’re starting with a roast chicken from the supermarket, too.
Homemade apple butter is a delicious topping for all kinds of things, such as toast, muffins and even yogurt and oatmeal. Since I make it in the fall, I tend to serve it with biscuits and dinner rolls during big holiday dinners, too. This year I wanted a change of pace and decided to stuff my biscuits with the apple butter instead of serving it on the side.
These Apple Butter-Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits are buttery, flaky biscuits that have a small pocket of apple butter baked inside of them. The apple butter adds a nice sweetness to the biscuits, and makes these a tasty snack, in addition to being a tasty side dish. I roll my biscuit dough out in a much thinner layer than I usually do and cut out twice as many rounds. I add the apple butter to the center of half of the rounds, just as I would do if I were making sandwich cookies, and place another biscuit round on top. The warm apple butter is a great treat when you’re biting into a freshly baked biscuit.
Usually I work biscuit dough on a well-floured surface. Since I was planning to stuff these, I wanted the dough to be a little on the sticky side so that I would get a good seal around the filling with my dough. Use flour sparingly and use a bench scraper if necessary to get the cut biscuits off your work surface. If you do find that your biscuit dough isn’t sticky enough to form a tight seal, simply wet the edges of the dough with a little water and pinch to close. Even if some of the apple butter escapes during baking, it’ll still create a sweet center in each of the biscuits and they will still be delicious – you just might want to serve them with a little extra apple butter on the side.