Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hooray for Brulée, especially the pumpkin variety

The notation by the recipe card in my source summed up everything correctly: “I’ve never met a creme brulée that I didn’t like!” My sentiments exactly. On my birthday several months back, the restaurant brought me a creme brulée as a complimentary birthday dessert. A treat indeed!

So when I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Creme Brulée, my heart did a somersault. Of course I had to try it, especially since I had some fresh pumpkin on hand. I loved the fact that I could bake this dessert in individual ramekins. The recipe called for heavy whipping cream, but I used whole milk instead. I usually have some leftover whole milk around since I use it in the sippy cups of the grandmunchkin when he visits, but I often have a lot of the milk container remaining.

The custards have to be broiled in the oven for from 4-7 minutes until the sugar is caramelized.
(Creme brulée means “burnt cream”. It has a custard base with a topping of caramel that has been broiled until it is deep butterscotch brown. Often the broiled caramel forms a hard layer. Sometimes cooks use small cooking torches instead of the oven broiler to brown the top portion.) Watch the process carefully while the custards are oven-broiling so they will not burn or get overly toasty. Chilled after cooking, these desserts may be served with or without whipped topping. I think I like creme brulée because it resembles Mexican flan, one of my food weaknesses.

This makes an impressive, delicious dessert that you don’t have to work very arduously to create. Best of all is digging past the hard, glazed layer to spoon out the smooth, spicy underside.

Pumpkin Creme Brulée

8 egg yolks (I used 2 cups of egg substitute)
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided (can use sugar substitute)
3 cups heavy whipping cream (I used whole milk)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (can use fresh)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves

In a small bowl whisk egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar. In a small saucepan heat cream over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan. Remove from the heat; stir a small amount of hot cream into egg yolk mixture. Return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Stir in the pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Transfer to eight 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a baking pan; add 1 inch of boiling water to pan. Bake uncovered, at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until centers are just set (mixture will jiggle). Remove ramekins from water bath; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you use a creme brulée torch, sprinkle top of desserts with remaining sugar. Heat sugar with the torch until the sugar is caramelized. Serve immediately. If broiling the custards, place ramekins on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Broil 8 inches from the heat for 4-7 minutes or until sugar on top is caramelized. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. Makes 8 servings. (Source: Taste of Home Thanksgiving Recipe Cards.)

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