Northwest NEWS

November 22, 1999

Home & Garden

Pumpkin Ice Box Pie

Dining In: Delights of autumn

Pumpkin Ice Box Pie

   3 tsp. (1-1/2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
   15 oz. can cooked pumpkin
   3/4 c. sugar
   1 tsp. sugar
   1/4 tsp. ground ginger
   Pinch ground cloves
   1/2 c. low-fat whipped topping, at room temp.
   1/2 c. low-fat sour cream, at room temp.
   9-inch graham cracker reduced-fat pie shell
Topping:
   1 tsp. (1/2 envelope) unflavored gelatin
   4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
   1/4 c. low-fat whipped topping, at room temp.
   1/4 c. low-fat sour cream, at room temp.
   1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish

   Pour 1/4 c. boiling water into a small dish. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit 4 minutes, until it dissolves. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Mix in the dissolved gelatin. Blend in the whipped topping and sour cream. Pour filling into the pie shell. For the topping, place the teaspoon of gelatin in a small dish. Pour in 3 Tbsp. of boiling water and let sit 4 minutes to dissolve the gelatin. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use the mixer to combine the cream cheese and sugar. Blend in the whipped topping and sour cream. Mix in the dissolved gelatin, beating until the topping is smooth and slightly fluffy. Pour the topping over the filled pie, tilting the pie to make an even layer. With a rubber spatula, carefully spread the filling to cover the entire pie. Sprinkle the cocoa over the topping. Chill the pie until it is set, about 3 hours. Cut into wedges, and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Italian Squash Fritters

   12 oz. package frozen butternut or winter squash
   3/4 c. flour
   1 tsp. baking soda
   Pinch salt
   1 egg
   1/4 c. sugar
   Grated zest of 1/2 orange
   1/4 c. golden raisins
   1/4 c. chopped dried apricots
   1/4 c. peanut oil, for cooking
   1-2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

   In a medium saucepan, cook the squash according to the package directions. With the pot over medium-low heat, mix the flour into the squash, using a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick, and there are no lumps. Mix in the baking soda and salt, then the egg, stirring until it is well combined. Mix in the sugar, zest, raisins, and apricots. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand 15 minutes. The batter will be velvety and elastic. In a medium non-stick skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil over medium high heat. Drop the batter, a scant teaspoon at a time, into the hot oil. Cook 8-9 fritters at a time, until they are dark brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the fritters, pressing them into coin-sized disks with the side of the tongs. Brown well, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil as needed during the frying. Arrange the warm fritters on a serving plate and sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Cider-Glazed Apples

   4 c. pasteurized apple cider
   1 lb. brown sugar
   4 6-inch cinnamon sticks
   2 cloves
   4 medium Fuji apples, peeled and cored

   Pour the cider into a 3-quart Dutch oven or other medium sized pot. Add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the apples. Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the apples to a plate and let cool to room temperature. Gently boil the liquid in the pot, reducing it to 2 c. This process can take up to 1 hour. Foamy bubbles will form when the cider is almost ready. Pour the boiled liquid into a glass container to cool; it will thicken to a consistency of honey as it reaches room temperature. Carefully spoon some of the cooled syrup over the cooled apples, coating them evenly. The remaining syrup can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 months. Drizzle it over baked apples, sliced oranges, and ice cream, and use it to sweeten drinks and fruit salad. Makes 18 servings.