I have to admit it though, my most recent cooking attempt was a little bit weird.
I made pumpkin puree. Now, generally speaking, making one’s own pumpkin puree isn’t totally an abnormality. But when you’re in France, poor and don’t have a blender, food processor or any other type of pureeing device, it does seem a bit off. But I did it anyway.
And this is how:
Buy some pumpkin. Fortunately, the French eat pumpkin in soup, so finding it isn't that hard. But French pumpkin doesn't look like American pumpkin and is normally bigger, more squat and lighter in color. It looks like it should be in a Tim Burton movie.
Once you've secured the pumpkin, bake it with a little bit of water, at 350* for about an hour and a half, until it is tender when you poke it with a fork. It should look like this:
Once it's tender, wait for it to cool. Or if you're impatient like me, scoop it out with a big spoon and try not to burn your hands off.
Now, if you're a normal person, scoop the goodness into a food processor or a blender and blend until it's smooth. If you're me, buy the cheapest plastic food mill you can find and put it through the food mill.
After all that, it should look like this:
You gotta make a makeshift strainer with your paper towels, your kitchen knives and your hand-me-down strainer.
These were even better the day after, which makes them perfect party dessert because you can make them ahead!
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Blondies (from Made in Sonoma and Martha Stewart)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 package white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9"x13" baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Add in the pumpkin and combine. On low speed add in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour white chocolate chips in and stir until incorporated evenly.
4. Spread batter out on prepared baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan and then remove by lifting foil out and cutting into even squares.