Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

As soon as fall hits, I start making all things pumpkin. I like to go a little overboard. I've been seeing all different sorts of pumpkin spiced foods online - pumpkin peanut butter, yogurt, pasta, etc. I figure if you make this syrup you can basically turn anything pumpkin spiced. This is great for making pumpkin spice lattes (iced or hot), drizzled over pancakes or waffles, or even added to hot chocolate for some decadence. I found the recipe on The Messy Baker.
I made this for for my family right before we did an 8 mile corn maze in the dark. We had some little flashlights and the light of the moon to see. There was a food truck at the farm that served pumpkin funnel cake (topped with cinnamon sugar) and other treats. We made it through 2/3 of the maze before calling it a night so we finished up next to the bonfire with some hot chocolate. Rex decided to eat lots of corn during the adventure. We tried letting him lead us but he kept trying to go off the trail.
Pictured is the syrup plus two pumpkin spice steamers!

For the recipe you will need:
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract 
Add the water and sugars to a saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Add the pumpkin and spices and simmer for 8 minutes gently. Don't let the mixture boil.* Then strain the mixture using a thin tea towel. Once cool, add the vanilla extract and store in the fridge. Add about 1-2 tbsp per latte.
*I let the mixture boil and then didn't strain the syrup. It becomes really thick this way and difficult to strain. If you decide to do this, you just have to add the syrup to the milk in a blender since the syrup won't dissolve completely otherwise.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Peach Tart

As it is peach season, I've been making this tart continuously. My family loves it and even if they didn't, I could eat it all on my own. I made this for the first time in the early stages of labor along with some slow roasted tomato sauce.
One month later I'm finally finishing this post. It's been a little hectic here and blogging hasn't really been on my mind. At least, I've been failing at taking pictures when I cook. In the future, there are some posts about apple butter, peach cobbler, and all things apple and pumpkin coming up.
Anyways, back to the recipe and feel free to substitute apples for peaches since it is now apple season. I found this on Sally's Baking Addiction and excluded the strawberries.


For the filling-
3-4 firm peaches, sliced 
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/3 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crust-
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
ice water
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
Turbinado sugar for the crust

To make the crust, blend all the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or food processor. You want the mixture to resemble large, coarse crumbs. Add water one tablespoonful at a time and toss with a fork until the dough just comes together. Knead into a ball quickly, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
For the filling, toss peach slices with other ingredients in a medium bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. If the peaches are really ripe, add more cornstarch. Drain the liquid.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the crust to about 10-12 inches in diameter on a floured surface. Place the peaches on the center in a pretty design leaving 2 inches of dough on the edge free. Fold over the edges. Brush with egg wash, then sprinkle the whole tart generously with the coarse sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and serve with homemade whipped cream.


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