Inside Out, But Oh So Right
I gave you pumpkin pop-ups with brown sugar icing for Halloween. Now I’m going to give you something even better for Thanksgiving — a very grown-up piece of candy that I’d venture to say even trumps the pop-ups. Wanna peak under the wrapping? I give you Inside Out Pumpkin Pie Truffles! “Inside out” because the “filling” is rolled in a “crust” of graham cracker crumbs. Or, if that only makes sense in my warped brain, just call them Pumpkin Pie Truffles.
I am an artist and pumpkin is my canvas. I’m not saying this with the least bit of pretension (okay, maybe a teeny bit). It’s just that any time I tackle pumpkin (in this case, the very last of the pumpkin puree from the cabin), I get a little wacky and creative. Like all art, some people appreciate my gastronomic tapestries more than others. For instance, I entered these little lovelies in a PIE contest yesterday, but they didn’t win. Disappointing? Yes. But considering it was a pie contest and these, for all their virtues, are not pie, it was to be expected.
Oh, you want to know why I entered them into a pie contest? It was a work thing. See, at my office there’s this annual pie (making, not eating) contest right before Thanksgiving, and since it’s nothing terribly official, you can enter just about anything you want as long as the word “pie” shows up somewhere in your entry. Commuter cyclist that I am, hauling a true-blue pie into work wasn’t really an option. Truffles seemed a good alternative. Pumpkin pie truffles seemed a very good alternative…. This is how my zany mind works.
D and I are also trekking to Albany for Thanksgiving and pie isn’t likely to hold up to that trip very well either. Wrapped in the little “take-out” boxes I printed and assembled, the truffles will be the perfect Thanksgiving hostess gift. Awww, so cute, right?
But really, despite the lack of a blue ribbon beside these babies, I can’t imagine something more delicious than the marriage of white chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Oh yea, and a little brandy. Can you?
Appetizer: Chestnut Leek Parcels
Soup: Roasted Rosemary Potato Leek Soup
Salad: Candy Cane Beet Salad with Orange and Fennel
Main Dish: Caramelized Leeks and Herbed Goat Cheese Lasagna in Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce
Side Dish: Sorrel and Chevre Eggless Quiche
Dessert: Apple Dumplings
That Nibble You Have After You Wake Up From Your 3 Hour Nap: Beet Chips
INSIDE OUT PUMPKIN PIE TRUFFLES
A Straight from the Farm Original (loosely based off EagleBrand Truffle Recipe)
4 1/2 c. white chocolate (the best brand you can find)
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 T. brandy or cognac
1 vanilla bean
3 t. cinnamon
1 t. freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
In a double boiler or large heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and condensed milk together over low heat. Once chocolate is melted and smooth, add pumpkin and brandy/cognac and stir to combine. Cut vanilla bean in half and scrap out each half using the backside of a knife. Discard pod and add beans to pumpkin chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining spices and remove from heat.
Chill mixture for 45 minutes or until it sets up and rolls easily into 1 inch balls. Roll balls using your hands (this creates a sticky surface on the truffles) and then roll in the graham cracker crumbs to coat well.
Chill finished truffles for at least 30 minutes before serving. Package in a nice box and present as a gift to your holiday party hosts or coworkers. To store truffles, keep refrigerated. They also freeze well.
(makes 50-60 truffles)