Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use. Pumpkin should yield 1-Cup seeds. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.
In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds.
Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Salted Caramel Apple Pie
4 to 6 lemons
5 to 6 medium to large apples*
*Cook's Note: A mixture of Crispin, Granny Smith, and Cortland is nice if you can.
Apple Filling Seasoning
1/3 cup raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 egg beaten
Raw sugar, for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon sea salt (flake)
Special equipment: Mandolin for slicing, and a pastry brush
To make the pie crust:
Prepare one 2-crust batch of your favorite all butter pie crust. Roll the bottom crust to fit a 9-inch pan, and cut the top crust as a lattice, approximately 1-inch in width or as desired. Chill the rolled crust while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.
To make the apple filling:
Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. Cook's Note: A mandolin works great for producing very thin slices.
Dredge all the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning and to add flavor. Set the prepared apples aside.
To make the apple filling seasoning:
In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and Angostura bitters. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.
To assemble the pie:
Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees F (depending on the hotness of your oven).
Gather your rolled pie crust, salted caramel, and apple mixture. Begin by layering 1/3 of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps. Pour 1/3 of the caramel over the apples. Add 1/3 of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples, and then the caramel again. Cook's Note: Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust. Pour the last bit of caramel on top. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with raw sugar and sea salt.
Bake the pie on a baking sheet larger than the pie pan for 20 minutes (otherwise the caramel will bubble over and burn on the bottom of your oven). Reduce the oven temperature to 325 to 350 and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. You can test the apples for doneness with a long toothpick or small knife. The apples should be just soft.
Let the pie cool, then slice and enjoy.
Yes it is Autumn and I love this weather and the foods that go with it (in my mind, at least).
Talk to you soon-I'm listing some knitting and embroidery on ETSY!