Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Apples

Sounds like an odd combination, but it works. The pumpkin flavor isn’t very strong at all – it just gives it a nice creaminess.

Serves: 4-6

11898791_10103478142531290_4330710274081016585_nIngredients

  • 8 oz dry macaroni pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped (I used Fuji)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese (Note: I used half applewood smoked cheddar and half seriously sharp cheddar. It was pretty smoky. If you’re not a fan of smoky, you can use all sharp cheddar.)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and let cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Let cook another 5 minutes or so and then add the chopped apples. Lower heat to medium-low. Continue to cook apples and onions, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5-10 minutes or so, until onions are caramelized and apples are softened and golden brown. Set aside.

Start your roux. Add butter to a medium saucepan and let melt over medium heat. Add flour to the melted butter and whisk continuously for about a minute. Raise heat a bit and add the beer.  Reduce until almost evaporated and mixture is quite thick, then whisk in the maple syrup and milk. Season with mustard powder, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Let cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the pumpkin then whisk in the grated cheese until incorporated.

Stir together the pasta, cheese sauce, onions, and apples. Spread the mixture into an 8×8 glass baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, let cool slightly, then serve.

*Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Apples and Caramelized Onions*

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Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Ingredients IMG_5250

For the crust:

  • 8ounces gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

For the pie filling:

  • cup packed brown sugar
  • eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • cup canned pumpkin purée
  • cup heavy cream

For the pie topping:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • pinch sea salt 

For the whipped cream:

  • cup heavy cream 
  • 3/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Start by making the crust.

  • Break the gingersnap cookies into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the melted butter and pulse again until combined.
  • Press the mixture into a 9- or 9.5-inch pie pan, making sure that it goes up the sides.
  • Put the crust in your refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Once the crust has chilled, bake for 15 minutes, set it on a cooling rack, and turn your oven up to 350 degrees.

Next, make the pumpkin pie filling. You can do this while your crust is in the oven.

  • Dump the brown sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into a bowl and whisk it together.
  • Add the pumpkin and cream and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the filling into the crust, cover the crust (the crust ONLY!) with tin foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

While your pie is in the oven, prepare the topping.

  • Combine the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl

After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and sprinkle on the topping. Then, bake for another 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

Take your pie out and put it on a cooling rack until it’s at room temperature. Then, cover it loosely with saran wrap and chill it in the refrigerator overnight so it sets.

The next day, when you’re about ready to serve your pie, take it out and bring it to room temperature.

While it’s sitting out, you can make your whipped cream.

  • Put all the whipped cream ingredients into a stand mixer and beat until high peaks form.

 

Slice up the pie and serve with a (large) dollop of whipped cream!

*Recipe adapted from Food52*