I love this time of year. It’s Pumpkin Spice season, although it appears that we have two kinds of people out there. Those who really love pumpkin spice, and those who really hate it. I proud to be in the camp who loves it. My condolences to those who don’t.
For those of you who love pumpkin spice and cheesecake, this pumpkin pie recipe is for you. It’s a modern recipe so while it’s not included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook, I’m sure Rosie would have approved.
Pumpkin Cheesecake pie
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounce)
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
I package premade pie shells*
Preheat oven to 350F. Place the crusts in the center of the pie pans. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add pumpkin and spices. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and beat until creamy. Pour evenly into pie crusts. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and top with whip cream, if desired.
I had a ton of leftover cornstarch from a video project. We needed to recreate snow, and cornstarch works well as a snow substitute. However, once the video was in the can, I had to figure out what to do with all unused cornstarch. I gave a box to a friend, and I’ve been using it as a flour substitute in some of my cooking recipes. It’s worked well. I also prefer cornstarch over flour for sauces and gravies. All of this helped, but I still have a bunch of leftover cornstarch.
I soon found a pudding recipe that wasn’t bad, but of course I had to go in and make a few changes to make it better. It’s easy to prepare and it makes a tasty dessert. Best of all, you probably already have the ingredients in your pantries.
chocolate cornstarch pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
Stir sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt together in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk and turn heat to medium, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool briefly, stirring occasionally as the pudding cools to avoid a skin forming on the top. Serve warm or chilled. A pat of butter may be added if serving warm.
*Almond or coconut extract may be used instead of vanilla.
This classic dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is one many of your grandmothers may have made. I tried it, and it’s delicious. What I really like about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not sugar-laden.
REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING
1 envelope plain gelatin
2 cups milk
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices white bread (2 1/2 cups cubed)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
nutmeg, if desired
Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original historic recipe.
My ex husband used to bring home rice pudding from the refrigerated section at the supermarket. He said it reminded him of his grandmother’s rice pudding. I’d never had rice pudding before, and it reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade tapioca pudding. Funny how certain foods bring back happy childhood memories.
Fast forward a few years. I’m testing some recipes for the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook. This rice pudding recipe was easy to prepare and used ingredients found in most pantries. However, it had a very different texture from the premade supermarket rice pudding, which created a delicious yet totally different experience. Puddings have variations, and it’s nice to try something different.
OLD-TIME RICE CUSTARD PUDDING
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup seedless raisins
2 cups scalded milk*
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix rice and raisins. Place in 8-inch baking pan, 3 inches deep. Blend milk into beaten eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour over rice and raisin mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place pan in shallow pan of water. Steam bake 1 1/2 hours in moderate oven (325F). Serve warm or chilled, with or without cream.
I was in Toastmasters for a number of years. It’s a wonderful organization, and you learn all kinds of interesting things listening to other member’s speeches. One night someone did a recipe demonstration for an easy to prepare pie. The speaker said it tasted like a million bucks, which was why it was called, Million Dollar Pie. Now mind you, I’ve never actually tasted cash, but it certainly is a delicious pineapple cream pie which only takes a few minutes to prepare.
MILLION DOLLAR PIE
1 premade graham cracker pie crust
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 package vanilla flavored instant pudding mix
1 12 oz can condensed milk
1 8 oz container whipped topping
Whisk together canned pineapple, canned milk and instant pudding mix in a large mixing bowl for about one minute. Fold in the entire container of whipped topping mix. Once mixture is thoroughly blended pour into pie crust and gently smooth until it is evenly spread. Chill several hours. Serve.
Just in time for Christmas baking, this delicious holiday dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, is perfect for the season.
PEPPERMINT CANDY LAYER CAKE
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups milk
2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream together margarine, sugar and salt. Stir in beaten eggs. Sift flour with baking powder twice. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, about 1/2 of each at a time. Pour into two 8-inch layer pans, lined with paper or greased with margarine and floured. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. When cool put layers together with white icing. Decorate with peppermint candy using whole sticks on top, crushed on sides.
Modern Variation: Since today’s baking powders are double-acting decrease baking powder to 1 1/4 teaspoon. For best results use a small (6 cup) bundt pan, a medium (8 x 4 inch) loaf pan, or an 8 x 8 inch square pan. To add some peppermint flavor add 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. If desired, top with Whipped Cream Topping.
WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
or 1/2 cup crushed peanut brittle
or 4 tablespoons jam or marmalade
Whip whipping cream until stiff. Fold in crushed candy or jam or marmalade.
Modern Variation: For peppermint candy topping add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to give the topping more peppermint flavor
I experimented with several different zucchini bread recipes back when I was growing zucchini in my backyard garden. I’d tweak this and add that, and this is the one I liked the best. It includes a box of cake mix which helps save prep time. However, batter tends to be thick and heavy, so I highly recommend using a KitchenAid or other heavy duty mixer.
By the way, in Rosie’s day people grew victory gardens, so I think she would have approved.
CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BUNDT CAKE
1/2 cup butter, softened (4 ounces or 1 stick)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package of cake mix with pudding in the mix *
1 medium zucchini — grated
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/8 cup powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F. (350F for a light colored pan).
Place softened butter in KitchenAid mixing bowl and beat the butter until light. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the sour cream, add the cinnamon and mix until all ingredients are well blended. Slowly add in cake mix, a little bit at a time, and mix thoroughly. (Batter will thicken considerably as cake mix is added.) Fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts.
Spoon the mixture into the bundt pan and gently blend mixture around the pan until it’s level. Firmly tap the bundt pan on the counter top several times so that air bubbles can work their way to the top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Cake will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then place cake plate on top of bundt pan and invert. Allow cake to finish cooling. Sprinkle powdered sugar, if desired.
Variations: Use peanut butter or white chocolate flavored chips with a chocolate or devil’s food cake mix.
* Most cake mixes, such as Pillsbury, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker, have pudding in the mix. White, classic yellow or devil’s food are recommended for theis recipe.