Fall Dessert Recipes

October 17th, 2016

Pumpkin Profiteroles

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.” (Shira Tamir). The leaves are falling and the colors are changing to russet and saffron.  Our roof is being bombarded with falling acorns.  I even dodge them when walking the dog.  I am literally being hit in the head with autumn.  So naturally my thoughts turn to the foods of the season.  When contemplating dessert I think of pumpkins and apples.  Last year my Daughter-in-law made Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Bourbon Caramel for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie.  It was such a pleasant surprise.  Last weekend David and I had the other Penny (of Enjoying the Simple Things) and her husband over for lunch.  I made these delicious cream puffs filled with pumpkin custard, drizzled with a maple bourbon custard and topped with whipped cream and chopped pecans.  I loved the fact that I could do everything ahead of time.  It was just a matter of assembly before they were served.  You can go to Penny’s blog for a snapshot of the whole meal that I served.  You can find this dessert recipe here on Epicurious.

Apple Crumble Pie 1

I know there are thousands of apple pie recipes out there.  But I came up with a winner with this one. I combined several recipes for this Apple Crumble Pie.  I was first inspired by Monique of La Table de Nana.  She takes such beautiful pictures and just looking at her apple pie made me hunger for it.  I used her tried and true pie crust recipe.  For the apples and crumb topping I adapted Ina Garten’s apple crisp recipe.  It was truly delicious.  The pie crust was flaky, the apples a little on the tart side and the crumble topping crunchy and sweet.

Apple Crumble Pie 2v

Don’t wait to be hit in the head by falling acorns to get inspired.


For the Crust: From Monique:

2 cups of flour,
2 tbsps granulated sugar(I put 3)
1/2 tsp salt..not me..my butter is salted
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
3 tbsps ice cold water.  ( I used 4 tbsps)
In a food processor pulse the first 3 ings..cut up your butter and sprinkle on top of the flour mixture..pulse until coarse crumbs..through the feed tube w/ motor running add the water slowly until it starts to come together.
Mine came out of the recipient so nicely..I just formed a flat disk on parchment..wrapped and refrigerated 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Apples:
5 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
After resting the pastry dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour, roll out into a circle to fit into a 9 inch deep dish pie dish.  (There will be extra left.  Save for future use.)  Flute edges.
Combine the sliced apples with sugar and spices in a large bowl.  Let rest until juices start rendering.  Toss well.  Place apples into prepared pie dish.
To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.  Scatter evenly over the apples.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for one hour or until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.  Serve warm.

Printable Recipe

Smoky, Tangy Greens and Beans

October 6th, 2016

Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans 1

It has been a delightful few days.  Tuesday was my birthday and all that I wanted was to spend a day and a night in Asheville, which is just 20 miles up and over the mountain from Lake Lure.  Asheville is such a vibrant town with fabulous restaurants, quirky shops and the kind of vibe that you would find in Greenwich Village in New York City.


Our first stop was lunch.  The restaurant that we had intended to visit was not open for lunch so we found an outside table at an obscure place on the main drag.  It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many people window shopping, strolling and dining.

Asheville Library

In the late afternoon we discovered a new business in the historic Grove Arcade.  It is Battery Park, a book exchange, champagne bar and espresso dog bar.  It was so welcoming with several rooms lined with bookshelves and intimate seating areas. We found a spot for two and then realized that we were sitting in the section that dealt with the history of our Presidents.  I was hoping to get away from politics for a few days.

Bone and Broth

Dinner was at a new restaurant called Bone and Broth.  It is a neighborhood pub situated between The Chop Shop Butchery, where it gets its local, organic meat and City Bakery where it gets its homemade bread.  The menu is reasonably priced with entrees such as Bangers and Mash and Macaroni and Cheese.  One of the appetizers is bone and broth soup.  Will have to try it on a future visit.

Bone and Broth DinnerI had the Bavette Rocket.  Bavette is a cut of meat next to the flank, sometimes called flap meat.  Cooked properly it very tender and flavorful.  It is one of the cuts carried at The Chop Shop next door.  It was served with roasted peppers, arugula and Parmesan, roasted potatoes, and City Bakery Toast.

Buxton Hall 1

But the main reason that we spent time in Asheville was to visit Buxton Hall Barbecue.  It was written up in Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the U.S. for 2016.  Barbecue is what North Carolina is known for, so our standards are high.  Buxton Hall did not disappoint.

Buxton Hall BBQ Plate

I especially loved their greens and hushpuppies.  The pork was very good, but I have had better at small local joints.  My favorite way to eat barbecue pork is to order “outside brown”.  I should have asked if this was an option at Buxton Hall.   Basically it is pulled pork from the browned exterior of the pig.  It is crispy and melt in your mouth delicious.  But it was the Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans that brought us here.

Smliky Tangy Greens and Beans 2V

What makes these collard greens so delicious is the sweet, sour and hot combination achieved by adding brown sugar, vinegar and lots of hot sauce to the mix.  Bacon, lima beans and black eyed peas are the embellishments.  I had made these before we went to the restaurant, as they were featured in Bon Appetit.  But it turned out that David was way ahead of me.  It is the recipe that he has made a few times before.  I had not realized that he had the same recipe.

Smoky Greens and Beans

We had a great birthday trip.  We may do it again for David’s birthday later this month.  If you love collard greens, you will love these.



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups pork or chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • cup hot sauce (preferably Texas Pete)
  • 2 medium bunches of collard greens, stems trimmed, leaves chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans and/or black-eyed peas
  • Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a plate.
  • Cook oil and bacon in same pot over medium-low, stirring often, until bacon is browned around the edges, 5–8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes and black pepper, then add stock, vinegar, brown sugar, and hot sauce, then mix in collard greens and reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are very tender but still have some chew, 60–70 minutes.
  • Uncover pot, add beans, and simmer until beans and greens are very tender and liquid is slightly reduced, 15–20 minutes. Season with salt. Serve topped with breadcrumbs.
  • Do Ahead: Collard greens can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool in liquid, then cover and chill. Reheat gently over low before adding beans.

Printable Recipe

Cauliflower, Potato and Leek Soup

September 27th, 2016

Cauliflower Soup 1

Although the weather is still quite hot, Fall is in the air.  The leaves are starting to drop even though the colors have not changed much.  This time of year I start thinking about soup.  I was in the village of Saluda last week with a friend.  Saluda is a quaint town with an excellent bakery, unique eateries and two old fashioned grocery and hardware stores.Saluda 1

On one of the side streets we found this garden maintained by the local garden club with an antique shop at the bottom of the steps.

Saluda 2

Beyond the garden is the outdoor eating area of The Purple Onion where we had lunch.

Cauliflower Soup 1

I had their cauliflower soup with a half of BLT sandwich on whole wheat bread from Wildflower Bakery.  Both were delicious and I decided I needed to make some cauliflower soup at home.  My only regret is that I did not come home with a loaf of that delicious bread.

Cauliflower Soup 2V



I was very happy with the soup recipe that I came up with.  It is a combination of leeks sauteed in butter, cooked cauliflower, chicken broth or vegetable broth, and potatoes.  It is similar to the classic potato leek soup but is heavier on the cauliflower.  It has only two potatoes in it.  I used my emulsion blender to emulsify it and flavored it with herbs and lots of cracked black pepper.  If you prefer you can add some sauteed sausages or bacon to make it heartier.  We enjoyed it on a rainy evening this week.  Welcome Fall!


2 leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 32 ounce box of chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium size potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Bouquet Garni of thyme, basil, bay leaves and peppercorns
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets.  Stems removed
Freshly grated black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Cooked bacon or sausage (Optional)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large stock pot.  Dry washed leek slices and add to butter.  Saute over medium heat until soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Pour the stock into the pot.  Wrap the herbs and pepper in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with twine.  Place in pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the diced potatoes and cook until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower and add to a large saucepan with water to cover.  Cook over medium heat until tender.  Save water and scoop the cauliflower into the stock pot with potatoes and leeks.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Emulsify the soup either with an emulsion blender or in a blender.  If using blender, divide soup into several batches.  Return to stock pot.  If soup is too thick add some of the cauliflower water until you reach the desired consistency.  Season to taste with lots of pepper and salt as needed.  Add optional bacon or sausage.

Printable Recipe


Yogurt Bread with Molasses

September 19th, 2016

Molasses Bread 4

A healthy bread is a wonderful choice for breakfast.  Warm out of the oven and smeared with a bit of butter it will get your day off to a great start.  When I saw this bread from Marian Bull on Food52 I knew that I would be making it.  The original recipe came from Mark Bittman, that former New York Times columnist who is known for his healthy take on eating.

The bread is hearty with white whole wheat flour and corn meal.  It is moist from the yogurt, molasses and cranberries, and is beautiful to the eye. At least it is beautiful to my former hippie eye.  I wrote a rather humorous post about our early “back to the land” lifestyle here.  You may get a laugh out of it.  Maturity has its perks.

Molasses Bread 2

Because it is a quick bread, it is easy to assemble and bake.  I have always been a bread person.  I have made my own yeast bread, bought quality loaves from local bakeries, and loved the baguettes from the French bakeries that we have visited.  This Yogurt Bread with Molasses has been added to my list of favorites.


Makes one loaf

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you’re using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you’re adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour.
  4. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!)
  5. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there’s goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I’m serious.

Printable Recipe

Tomato Gravy and Biscuits

September 12th, 2016

Tomato Gravy 4

We had the family here over the Labor Day Weekend.  It was a marathon of good food, excellent wine, swimming, boating and games.  There is a special vibe to a multi-generational get together.  The grandparents, grown kids and the littles all contribute to the fun.  And all day long someone was always hungry!  The cookie container was emptied by the third day.

One morning David made this tomato gravy to go with our biscuits.  Of course we all love sausage gravy with biscuits, but this tomato gravy is also a winner.

Tomato Gravy 2V

The recipe came from my friend Barbara who lives in Virginia.  It  has been in her family for years and relies on the home canned tomatoes that her family puts by every year.  If you don’t have home canned tomatoes you can use whole canned tomatoes from the supermarket.

Tomato Gravy 3

Everyone loved the combination.  One of the Grands came back for seconds and thirds.  David made the tomato gravy.  I cheated and used frozen biscuits and fried up some sausage patties to go with everything.

Cassoulet Kit

As a hostess gift, I was given this fabulous D’artagnan Cassoulet Kit.  We enjoyed the wonderful duck confit and sausage casserole one evening on the porch.  It is beginning to cool down in the evenings so this was a perfect meal that was not too difficult to assemble.

This tomato gravy recipe is written in Barbara’s own words.  David guessed on some of the amounts.


This is all adjusted to taste and subject to trial and error!

2 28 ounce can of tomatoes – I prefer the ones we can fresh from the garden but the whole peeled tomatoes work just fine.  I would not buy the petite chopped tomatoes but coarsely chop the whole peeled ones.

Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar ( D used 1 tablespoon ) to cut down on the acid.  Naturally, I add butter to flavor the gravy.  Adjust to your taste or diet. ( D used 1 tablespoon).

Cook the tomatoes down until about half the liquid is gone.  Mix about a cup of milk and flour ( I cheat and use the wondra flour about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and pour into tomatoes.

Stir until desired consistency and pour over biscuits!

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.