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Entries in pumpkin butter (3)

Tuesday
Nov222011

A Plethora of Pumpkin Recipes – Our Second Online Magazine!

 

 

It's time! For two things: Thanksgiving and (even more exciting) our SECOND online magazine!

This magazine delivers you all our featured pumpkin recipes PLUS a very exciting new one. I haven't even posted it on the blog, that's how special it is.

What is it? Maybe you should flip through the magazine and find out, huh? I dare you....I DOUBLE mini pumpkin cheesecake dare you.

Yes, I do.

Monday
Nov072011

Two Standouts from Levain Bakery

Lately, we have been feasting on a conglomeration of pumpkin-related foodstuffs. This will (may?) be the last pumpkin-related post until I post the PUMPKINS OF GLORY online magazine with bonus recipes.

Because who doesn't want bonus recipes? And pumpkins of glory?

But to eeeeease us back into normal food, I am going to report on a bakery. A bakery in my new neighborhood, the Upper West Side. A bakery called Levain Bakery.

"Levain" is a leavaning agent used in place of yeast to make dough rise. Do you remember when I experimented (and failed) in trying to grow my own? Levain is old school. This is what bakers did before they could buy mini packets of "Active Dry Yeast" on the shelves on Fairway. Thank goodness I was not one of those bakers. I'd have to find new employment as a blacksmith or a tallow maker. Although why I think I'd have better luck with tallow is beyond me.

Anyway! We were talking about a bakery named after a bacteria culture, so let's get back to it.

Old school bread making using levain seems like it should taste better. And bakeries that rely upon these techniques should in my opinion produce tastier bread. Levain Bakery is successful in this regard.

I walked into their tiny 74th Street location and was immediately overwhelmed by the appetizing selection. The kind attendant behind the counter asked if he could help me. My response, "I need a minute."

In fact, I needed a minute to wipe the tears of carbohydrate desire from my eyes as I perused the options behind the glass which included oversized puffy brioche, thickly sliced pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, chocolate stuffed brioche, powdered sugar thingies, and etc. Holy levain!

The attendant approached me apprehensively once more, "Do you need another minute?" I couldn't tell if he was making fun of me (likely), so I rattled off my request for two plain brioche and 2 slices of pumpkin bread.

These days I always get two: one for photographing and one for eating.

I thought the brioche would pair nicely with the pumpkin butter, and I was correct. The slightly sweet taste and ever so light and fluffy texture was a perfect match for the hearty sweet and spicy butter (you can read more about that here with recipes).

As for the pumpkin bread, I thought smearing pumpkin on pumpkin might be a little much - even for me. So I chose a cream and raspberry jam combination, which when you mush them together make a lovely pink color. This raspberry creaminess was an excellent topper for the the dense bread.

This pumpkin bread was thick – about an inch and a half. It was moist – no dry crumbling here! And it was spiced just right with a hint of clove (I'm guessing, but I think I'm correct) that I happened to love with pumpkin flavor.

I may have a new favorite bakery. But just to be sure, I'm going to have to eat through the rest of their admirable options. And of course, tell you about them. In the meantime, if you can, take the 1,2 or 3 train up to 72nd, and walk on over the Levain Bakery. I'll meet you there, but I might need a minute. Or two.

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th Street  New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-6080

Tuesday
Nov012011

Pumpkin Butter Makes Everything Better

We are returning to pumpkin-related recipes today with a winner. First, a qualification of sorts: I don't know much about preserving, canning, jamming and related topics. I occasionally scan the internet for ideas, getting really exciting about making things like fig and lavender jam. Make it, and then exhaust myself on the whole process.

But this? This is so easy even a pumpkin could do it. This pumpkin butter can be eaten in one of two ways:

1. Directly out of the pot once it's cooked.

2. Saved in your fridge in an air-tight container and slathered on just about anything (I recommend all manner of carbs, especially a nice brioche from Levain Bakery).

And I highly recommend you experience both of the above. The spices and mild sweetness in this pumpkin butter make it an ideal pairing for something slightly sweet. For example, poured warm over vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. OR a bread with a sweetness to it, like brioche. The airy and chewy texture of brioche creates a perfect base for this hearty butter.

Or you could just eat it out of the container with a spoon. It's that good, I promise you. Here is how you make it:

What You Need:

1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree (you can use canned or make your own like I did with these instructions).
3/4 cup apple cider
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

What You Do:

Throw all the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a boil for 1-2 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Let everything simmer together for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

The pumpkin butter will start to thicken gradually.

When the pumpkin butter is thick enough, remove from heat and allow it to completely cool (unless you have ice cream on hand, in which case I would encourage you to eat it immediately). Divide into jars and store in the refrigerator.