Saturday, November 30, 2013

Goodbye to Fall

It's always hard to say goodbye to fall and to see the winter set in. Below are two great recipes featuring fall flavors.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional ground cinnamon, optional


In a small bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 5-7 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla; spread over filling. Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Chill overnight.

Remove sides of pan. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Yield: 12-14 servings.

Source: Taste of Home recipe originally published October/November 2001. You can find it here.

Notes: I baked my cheesecake a few minutes longer than stated in the recipe due to my altitude. Also due to my altitude, my cheesecake fell slightly in the middle. However, it was smooth and creamy and it tasted fantastic. One warning though, this dessert is really rich! A little goes a long way.

Autumn Brew (Wassail)


1 gallon apple juice
1 cup orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
4 to 5 orange slices, without seeds


Pour apple and orange juices into 4 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker. Place cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange slices into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat 3-4 hours. Turn on low heat to keep warm. Remove cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and cloves before serving.

Makes 16 servings.

Source: This is from a cookbook called 101 More Things to do with a Slow Cooker by Stephanie Ashcraft. You can find more information on that cookbook here.

Notes: This was so easy. My only warning is that it was literally boiling hot even after I turned it onto low heat. Perhaps my slow cooker is hotter than some. If your slow cooker is anything like mine, I would suggest unplugging it about 15-20 minutes prior to serving. It will still be plenty warm, it just won't burn anyone's tongue that way.

When I made this, it was an uncharacteristically warm day, so I had some leftovers. I refrigerated them and rather than heating up the leftovers, I just drank it cold. It was fantastic that way too! This drink has such a subtle, yet defined flavor. Good stuff!

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