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Recipes and Books archive: November 2007

Recipe – Pumpkin Pot au Crème


Isn’t this a beauty? Like Cinderella’s carriage, this dusty dusky pumpkin is full of magical promise. I think I’m going to make a pot au crème with it for Thanksgiving…

I’ll peel and cube it, then steam it until it’s very very soft. Then I’ll squash it through a sieve to make a very smooth pureè, and combine a cup of this mixture with 3 cups of heavy cream. I’ll throw the mixture into a pan with a vanilla bean that’s been split, a pinch of nutmeg and a tad of cinnamon, and simmer everything gently for 20 minutes.

Next, I’ll whisk 8 egg yolks with 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a metal bowl that’s sitting over a pan of boiling water for about 7 minutes, whisking and whisking to keep everything fluid.

Then I’ll mix the pumpkin stuff with the egg stuff, mixing it all in the metal bowl still suspended over the steam. I’ll leave it to cook for about 45 minutes, whisking everything every ten minutes and making sure everything is cooking as gently as possible.

Once it’s done, I’ll divide it equally between ten little old-fashioned tea cups, then chill them overnight in the fridge before sprinkling them with a little grated milk chocolate.

Four Festive Tips

by Antony Worrall Thompson

1) Get ahead: make brandy butter, mince pies, stuffing and cranberry sauce a week or two before Christmas: freeze them and thaw overnight on Christmas Eve. You can also cook mince pies from frozen if guests drop by

2) Cut turkey time: cook your stuffing in a baking tray to save time as an un-stuffed turkey cooks more quickly than one with stuffing in its cavity.

3) Juggle roast potatoes: pre-roast your potatoes for 40 minutes before the turkey goes in the oven. The turkey will need 20 minutes’ standing time tightly wrapped in foil to allow the juices to go back into
the flesh having risen to the surface during cooking. So during this time, turn up the oven to hot and pop your potatoes back in to finish roasting and crisp up.

4) One dish wonder: two weeks before Christmas make up and freeze two large lasagnes – one meat and one vegetarian. They will make a wonderfully warming supper and can be whipped out of the freezer and baked from frozen. Perfect if you suddenly need to rustle up supper –or for the day when you feel too tired to start from scratch. Simply serve with big bowls of mixed leaf salad lightly tossed in olive oil and sea salt.

Eggy Bread – with a secret!

This is my sister Lindsay’s recipe…

Beat 2 eggs and 2 splashes of milk and pinch of salt.
Add 2 drops of vanila essence. (A-ha! That’s the secret!)
Dip the bread in and let it soak up the mixture on both sides.
Grate a nutmeg and a sprinkle on.
Heat sunflower oil in a pan and fry on a high heat.
(N.B. 2nd slice is always the best – Ive no idea why)

Once golden brown put on kitchen towel to remove excess oil and if you are feeling really naughty, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and/or cinnamon.

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