Back to the actual story and then, yes, THEN a recipe. I've yet to figure out how I'm going to segway into that.
It was just one of those days where I didn't care if we walked around Target for hours. Normally, I can get in and out in 20 minutes, with 3 kids. I mean, that's pretty good. Well, that's if they hang on the sides of the cart, which I normally make them do, so I can go faster. Lara Croft would totally approve of fast and unsafe strategies.
I let the kids get ONE stupid, made-in-china, possibly-lethal-paint-coated-toy each. Normally, I whiz right by. If you act like your in a big, serious hurry, you can usually get by that crap-toy trap without a peep. Not today. Because I was in slow-mo and didn't give a flyin' fig, I let them dive-in, head first.
For some reason, ONE toy is a very difficult concept for three year-olds to understand. They must have thought I said, "One ARMFUL each."
Then we get to the Christmas aisle. Oh Lord. I get giddy and have to touch everything just like they do. That led us to the Christmas music CD display with the touch pad where you can sample the CDs before you buy them. Like I said before, if this was a mission-kind-of-day, I would speed by without even a thought of "sampling", but today I parked the cart right in front of it and let the kids push the buttons into oblivion.
I was not surprised that the Mickey Mouse Christmas Special Extravaganza Musical Music Blowout Disney Supercalifragilistic Best of the Season Special Album got the most attention and I was equally not surprised that I wanted to bash my head into the shopping cart handle to find relief from Mickey's incredibly annoying, someone's-squeezing-his-nether-regional-area voice.
The children? Well, they were in "mousie" heaven. Boo was galloping around in circles claiming Goofy was singing a "cowboy" song, while Bubba acted as operational engineer of this button-pushing carousel of holiday hell.
I guess, it really wasn't that bad. I was actually enjoying every minute of it. I loved that Boo thought "Jingle Bells" was a country song and Tiny was clapping randomly and squealing as he watched his sister do her awkward dance. We stood there for a good 10 minutes, wearing down that display and most likely scaring away anyone who was mildly interested in a Crooner's Christmas with 'Ol Blue Eyes.
I am really thankful for my kids. I'm really thankful I am a mom. I'm so thankful for those silly moments that I can take and tuck away into my heart. I guess it wasn't so lame afterall, more like pretty much perfect- except for the fact that I still looked like the poster-child for Help A Fashion-Challenged Mom Foundation.
Alright. Are you ready for a recipe? If you're not, I'm going to start talking about poop diapers...
This recipe was going to be for the Challenge 8 of PFB. It turned out really well. I've never made any kind of tart tatin before. I took Rachel Allen's recipe for Apple Tart Tatin and substituted fresh pumpkin for the apple, came up with a brown butter rum ice cream on the fly and topped it all off with salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds. It totally satisfied my love of salty-sweet.
So with summer garb and non-autumnal weather outside, I was trying to usher the chilly air with this little number. I hope you enjoy.
scoop out the seeds and reserve.
rinse and dry really well.
cut pumpkin into slices
I used a cookie cutter for the centerpiece.
practice your slices in the pan to make sure they fit.
my addition: spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger.
Toss with your pumpkin pieces.
until they are well coated.
roll out and cut pie crust to size. (if in a pinch you could use a pre-made pie crust pastry)
make your caramel...so fun and kinda scary.
cook your pumpkin in the caramel and top with crust.
bake until golden and pumpkin tender.
gaze at its beauty...
take your toasted pumpkin seeds
(and shove it...just kidding. Any time I hear some one say, "Take your..." I want to say, "and shove it.")
200 g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour, sifted
1 pinches salt
100 g (7 tbsp.) butter, chilled and cubed
2 tbsp soured cream, or crème fraîche
For the filling
Approx. 3/4 of a small pumpkin, peeled and cut into slices or 4 eating apples, GrannySmith or Golden Delicious; if using a small variety, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin, you will need about 6 apples
1/2 tsp. EACH cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove ( if you like you can add these spices to a apple tart too)
125 g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) water
25 g (2 tbsp.) butter
1 egg, beaten
1. For the sour cream shortcrust pastry: place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz briefly. Add half the sour cream and continue to whiz. You might add a little more sour cream, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together. If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough sour cream to bring it together.
2. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm thick, then wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, if you are pushed for time, in the freezer for 10–15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400 degrees F)
4. For the filling: prepare the apples, by peeling them with a peeler to keep them in a nice rounded shape, then cut into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter and set aside. Don’t worry if they go brown, and don’t cover in water or they will be too wet. (Toss pumpkin pieces in spices)
5. Place the sugar and water in a medium-sized ovenproof saucepan set over a low–medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
(follow the recipe as is, substituting pumpkin for apple)
6. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelise around the edges – about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelisation.
7. Once the syrup is a golden caramel in colour, add the butter and swirl the pan again to distribute it through the caramel.
8. Remove the pan from the heat, and place the apple quarters in a concentric circle around the outside and any remaining pieces in the centre, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The apples must completely cover the base of the pan; you may need an extra apple!
9. Place the pan back over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes to slightly caramelise the apples, while you roll out the pastry.
10. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a disc about 2cm wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then, using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.
11. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer through the centre.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and carefully (it is hot!) but quickly flipping it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. Cut into slices to serve. Serve with ice cream and pumpkin seeds.
Seeds from one pumpkin
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake until fragrant and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Just try and stop yourself from eating all of them before the tart is finished.
Brown Butter Rum Ice Cream
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. dark rum
In a heavy pan melt butter and let it get golden brown and fragrant. Add milk and cream. Let it come to simmer. Meanwhile beat eggs and sugar with a fork, until creamy and lighter in color. Add a bit of the hot milk to the eggs to temper them. Then add the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir over med-low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Add vanilla and rum off heat. chill in fridge until cold or in an ice bath. Follow your ice cream makers instructions.
Happy Thanksgiving, Foodies!
P.s. Thank you for all your really, really sweet comments on my "Dumped" post. I cannot tell you how warm and fuzzy it makes me. I'm super thankful for you, my readers.