a The pumpkin, its heart hollowed out for stew, a rough smile carved into its peel, would illuminate the garden steps, but that’s as far as I go. Next week, instead of sending exploding missiles into the sky, I’ll watch the neighbors light up the darkness with their hills of pink, green, and silver. Celebrations in this house will take place around the kitchen table. And where better?
There will be hot “sausage” rolls filled with pork but with spiced pumpkin and a plate of baked apple with maple syrup sauce. I’ll pass around a basket of chocolate biscuits and glasses of warm red wine roasted with cinnamon. No doubt we’ll be enjoying rockets and roman candles, but everything I’m really looking forward to about Halloween and Guy Fawkes comes on a plate.
I’m not sure why the food at these fall festivities tastes so good. This may be the first real shot of cold weather, the nostalgic smell of cold, wet earth and consuming diamonds, or perhaps because of the chance to bring out the uncomfortable food we really love – buttery baked potatoes and thick sausage links, deep bowls of homemade golden ginger stew or chocolate biscuits, Which seems much more convenient than the intervention of a creative chef. We will raise a toast to golden autumn days and sparkling nights, holding our steaming mugs and hot pastries aloft, and our gifts from the kitchen to the spirits of fire.
Pumpkin or walnut rolls with pomegranate molasses
The important detail here is to use a pumpkin or squash that has a firm flesh, so that it keeps its shape inside the pastry. Crown – blue apple squash – is fine, but acorns will work, too. Just be sure to let it cool and set before using it. makes 12
gourd or gourd 1 kg, peeled weight
Aleppo pepper ½ teaspoon
green onion 3
puff pastry 325g
an egg 1, hit
nigella seeds 2 teaspoons
To prepare the dipping sauce:
pomegranate molasses 4 teaspoons
garlic 1 clove
olive oil 5 tablespoons
Lemon ½ . juice
Grain mustard 2 teaspoons
You will also need a large baking sheet
Bring a deep saucepan of water to a boil and place a steamer basket or colander with a lid over it. Cut the squash or squash into 5cm pieces and steam for 25-30 minutes, until tender, to the point of a knife.
Transfer the cooked squash, while it is still in the steamer, to drain into a mixing bowl. (Although the squash hasn’t touched the water, it may still contain a bit of moisture.) Then place the squash in a bowl and using a potato masher or fork, crush it until it’s a thick mash. Season with salt, black pepper and sweet pepper. Chop and add green onions. Set aside to cool. The mash must be solid and cool before using it. If not, dry it in a bowl in the refrigerator.
Roll the pie dough into a rectangle approximately 35 x 25 cm, then turn the dough over so that the longest side is facing you. Cut in half lengthwise (to give two slices of pastry 35 x 12.5 cm). Pour half of the zucchini in a line along the edge of the pie facing you, about 2 cm from the edge. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then roll it tightly into a long sausage, sealing the edges of the pastry with more eggs. Repeat using the second pastry piece and remaining squash. Put it in the fridge for 40 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to skip this step).
Set the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6 and place the baking tray in the oven.
Remove the pastry rolls from the refrigerator and cut each one into 6 short lengths. Using a palette knife, transfer the rolls to the hot griddle. Gently brush with more beaten eggs, then cut a small slit in the top of each and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the dough is golden and puffy. Remove it and let it rest for a few minutes before transferring it to a serving plate or board.
Prepare the dip: Put pomegranate molasses in a small saucepan with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard, bring to a boil, then pour into a small dish. Dip each roll in the sauce while eating.
Baked apple with maple syrup and cream
Here I use a variety of apples from the irresistible selection in stores this time of year. A large, creamy bramley would work well, too. Serves 4
An apple 6 sweet and medium sized
butter 45 grams
Maple syrup 3 tablespoons
double cream 250 ml
cinnamon ½ teaspoon
vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Set the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6. Using a sharp knife, place each apple at a distance of 1 cm from the stem. This will allow the flesh to swell while baking. Then place them, just touching them, in the baking dish.
Melt the butter in a small skillet, then remove from the heat and pour over the apples. Bake until the apples puff up and the flesh is tender and fluffy. The exact timing will depend on the type of apple, so start checking after 25-30 minutes. An occasional batter with the juices of butter in a baking dish is totally fine.
When the apples are almost ready, pour the cream into a small saucepan, add the maple syrup, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil for a minute, then pour it over the baked apples with the spoon.
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