Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Roll

Several years ago I was visiting my friend, Lynette, in Washington, D.C. and she made an amazing pumpkin roll for dessert. I remember her saying it wasn't that hard to do, but I was seriously impressed by the look of it and I loved the taste of it. It's taken me all these years to finally remember to try making one, but an ad and recipe for this Libby's pumpkin roll got me cooking, and boy am I glad. I loved it so much I made it for dessert for the past two Sundays. It really isn't hard to make, and it tastes soooo good. How do you like that? It looks good, tastes good, and isn't difficult. Sort of like a good looking, sweet, low-maintenance boyfriend. Only in my case I married that boyfriend, but you really shouldn't try to marry this pumpkin roll. Just eat it. Much less messy. So if you've been searching for something delicious and fall-alicious to bake, try this out. You won't be sorry.

Pumpkin Roll:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on dish towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

For Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts (I left the nuts out).
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel.

Carefully peel off paper (I used a butter knife to gently ease it off in the sticky spots).

Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For filling: Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake.
Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. I did this by gently using my hand to start it rolling and then lifting the towel to help it roll onto itself as shown in the following pictures:

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Baking tip: Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Not Dead. I Think I'll Go for a Walk.

Ah, dear readers. Bless you if there are any of you still left after my embarrassingly long absence. Having a baby and ooing and awing over him has taken up most of my free time lately, but I am dipping my proverbial toe back in to the blogging pool and am about ready to take the plunge again. So, to kick things off, here is a peach pie. You see, fall has arrived here in my neck of the woods and with it a fierce craving for pie on my part. And peaches--oh heavenly peaches--are just about to disappear, so before they are completely gone I decided to turn a few into this baby:

Forgive the fluorescent lighting in this pictures and my slightly skiddy-wompus crust, but I was going more for taste than for beauty with this one. I was watching old episodes of Pushing Daisies the other day and was intrigued with the idea of a peach pie with a brown sugar crust and thought I'd play around. I added a tablespoon of brown sugar to my regular pie crust which made it a bit sweeter, but not quite as noticeably brown-sugary as I was hoping. Any tips on making a delectable brown sugar crust, friends? As for the filling, I like the one in my good old 1950s version of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook which I will list below.

Now for an invitation. I know there are at least a few of you out there that read this blog, and I know more than a few of you have a great pie recipe in your book, so hows about sharing them? I am loving pie in a big way right now and would love to try out some new recipes, so if you wouldn't mind sharing them, please comment and post your recipe. And if we don't get very many, no worries, I'll just start working my way through my relatives' recipes which is where I usually go when I don't know what to cook. But I really would love to hear what pies you readers like to make, so comment away.

Peach Pie

3/4 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg (I used cinnamon)
5 cups sliced, peeled fresh peaches
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 recipe pie crust

Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add to peaches; mix lightly. Spread in 9-inch pastry lined piepan. Dot with butter. Adjust lattice top crust; flute edges. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F) 45 to 50 minutes.

I love the flavor of this one, but be warned--the filling is a bit runny. I'll have to play around with different thickeners. I'm thinking some peach-flavored gelatin or cornstarch, but I'll welcome any other ideas.