Fall Pumpkin Desserts
Pumpkin Rolls Photographed on Fiesta Dinnerwareby Dorothy Sibole
Up until now, October has always had me thinking about what I will wear and how I will decorate my home when giving out candy to the kids who come to my door -- at least on those days I was not working. But this year, with new challenges and a new life here in this great state called Texas, I have more friends to cook for and try my recipes on. This month, in addition to the somewhat easy dishes I have been preparing -- those that can be made in about an hour -- I offer you a bit of a challenge.
The first recipe is one you may want to start at least two days in advance. The batter for a good cheesecake needs to rest at least an hour and up to a day before you bake it off. This helps release the air in the batter thus preventing any bubbles and making for a denser cheesecake. Baking at a low temperature in a water bath (setting your cheesecake pan in a larger pan containing enough water to come two-thirds up the side of the cheesecake pan) makes this like a custard in the way it is cooked. Your result will be a moister, highly flavorful cheesecake.
When mixing a cheesecake, have all your ingredients at room temperature. This helps the ingredients to blend faster without incorporating too much air into the batter. It also does not matter what kind of cream cheese you use, especially when you are baking. When you are baking the cheesecake, cover it with aluminum foil, this will prevent it getting any brown spots from ovens, which may have hot spots.
Pumpkin CheesecakeThe Filling
When the cheesecake is done, let it cool in the water bath for about 30 minutes, then remove and place on a towel to remove any excess water. When the bottom is dry, put the pan in the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to serve, you can top the cheesecake with a mixture of one-half cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix it well and spread on the top of the cheesecake.
The next recipe is for Flan, a traditional Hispanic baked custard, which has its own lovely caramel sauce. My version incorporates pumpkin.
For the Caramel Sauce:
For the Custard:
To serve, run a spatula or a knife around the sides of the dish. Then take a serving plate and cover the Flan. Quickly turn the Flan right-side-up on the plate, being careful not to spill the sauce or to drop it. Makes about 9 servings.
The last recipe is for bread. Actually, this bread can be made into rolls or a loaf.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, punch down and cut into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into desired roll. To make knots, shape each piece of dough into a long roll and tie it into a knot pulling the ends through. To make trefoils, divide each piece of dough into three balls and place them together in a triangular shape on the baking sheet.
Place the rolls on the prepared sheets, spacing them well apart, cover them with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place. They are ready to bake when you lightly press into a roll with your finger and you leave an indention in the roll. You can at this point preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take an egg and add a little water to make a glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, cheese, herbs or even kosher salt.
Bake the rolls for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before serving. Makes 12 rolls.
Dorothy Sibole is a pastry chef living in Austin, Texas. If you have questions about this article or the recipes, contact us at moc.gnikoocsaxet@nibrof_solkim.
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