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Columns November 7, 2017  RSS feed

Cooking Country

Sherry Matney

Well, our cool spell was short-lived but we did have a couple of frosts last week. This weekend, the first of deer season, was so hot the hunters were sweating under their camouflage suits. But we know the cool weather is coming, along with the biggest holiday season of the year so we just have to keep focused on the task at hand. Last week we made cupcakes to freeze so we can take them out of the freezer and trim with cream cheese frosting, that we also made ahead, so we are feeling pretty smart. This week we are making a couple of items from pumpkins. I have some in the freezer from last years crop but canned pumpkins are easy and cheap, so do whatever is best for you. You can easily make the pumpkin roll and the pumpkin pie ahead and freeze them just like you did your cupcakes. It would probably be best to not slice the roll until you are ready to serve. The pie is very simple and can be frozen before or after cooking. You can also cut the pie crusts into circles that fit mini-cupcake pans and make your pumpkin pies in bite-sized mini-pies. They are very easy and pretty. Bake these before freezing, then take out, thaw and top with whipped cream. You will be a kitchen hero.

Pumpkin Roll

¼ cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3-cup pumpkin
1-cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15x10 inch jellyroll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 13- 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.


1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust come out clean.

Pie crust

During my working years, I bought my pie crusts, usually in a foil pan. After Pillsbury came out with their product, I switched to them, because it was easier to make the crust look like I had actually rolled out that perfect pie crust. Now, that I have more time than money I make my own pie crusts and enjoy doing it. Although there are many, many recipes for pie crusts the one that works for me is the one that is in the Crisco can. This makes two 9” pie crusts.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup well-chilled Crisco
4-8 tbsp. ice cold water

Blend flour and salt in large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork until course crumbs form. Stir in enough water with fork until dough holds together. (Don’t make the dough too dry. It will not roll out smooth enough.) Dived the dough in half and roll out each half about two inches larger than the pie pan. Carefully place into pie pan and trim to fit.

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