Beef Prime Rib

Beef Prime Rib (this is a three-rib roast cooked almost to medium.  I prefer rare!)

Beef Prime Rib (this is a three-rib roast cooked almost to medium.  I prefer rare!)

Nothing quite compares to a succulent prime rib, during the holiday or for any special occasion.  In addition to it's tender, melting texture and great flavor, the price tag makes it appropriate more for the special than the everyday!  The simple steps make it a snap to prepare.  Resting the beef is important so allow time for that before presenting this amazing entree!

Special equipment needed:    Meat probe with oven cable

1 (4-bone) prime rib roast from the loin end, about 9 pounds trimmed.  Remove the ribs with a single cut to create a rack (or have the butcher do it) and reserve it.  Trim of excess fat (save the fat)

4 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 sprigs of rosemary

4 cloves of garlic

The night before roasting liberally season the prim rib with the salt and some black pepper.  Refrigerate overnight.

An hour before roasting, remove the roast from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature and preheat the oven to 400-degrees.

Put the reserved rack in a roasting pan bone-side up.  Scatter any fat and meat trimming in the pan around the bones.  Roast the bones and trimmings for about 30 minutes, or until the fat start to render.

Insert the meat probe into the center of the roast from the end, horizontally.  Set the internal temperature on the thermometer settings to 125-degrees.  Remove the pan from the oven, put the rosemary sprigs on top of the bones., and then top with the prime rib, cut-side on the rib rack.  (The ribs act as a roasting rack!)  Put the smashed garlic in the bottom of the pan with the trimmings.  Baste the beef with the fat dripping and return the the pan to the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes, then baste the roast again.  Reduce the heat to 350-degrees and cook until the meat is medium-rare, or 125 degrees on the internal thermometer, from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on the size of the roast.  Continue basting every 30 minutes.  The roast continues to cook while resting.

Remove the roast from the oven and put it on a cutting board to rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Slice the prime rib to the desired thickness.  Serve with your own gravy, or with Dijon-Horseradish Cream Sauce.

 

 

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Dijon-Horseradish Cream Sauce

Prime Rib with Dijon-Horseradish Cream, Sauce

Prime Rib with Dijon-Horseradish Cream, Sauce

Prime rib is a star all on its own, but a little gravy or sauce takes it to a whole new degree of delicious.  This sauce is super easy to make (do it while the meat roasts), and is a fabulous way to top beef. 

3 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow the cream to reduce by half, stirring occasionally.  (The cream may boil up early in the process, so keep your eye on it. This can take up to an hour.)

Once the cream is reduced and thick, remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

This sauce reheats well on the stove over low heat.

 

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Sweet Potato Latkes

Sweet Potato Latkes with Applesauce

Sweet Potato Latkes with Applesauce

Latkes became a part of my life when I married Barry, and am I ever happy about that!  Traditional at Hannukah, they are also good all year long as a side or appetizer.  When I catered during the holidays, I often served mini-latkes as a hot, passed appetizer to rave reviews.  White potato latkes are the standard, but this sweet potato version from my old favorite Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Hoildays by Marlene Sorosky is a favorite of mine.  You will want to give this recipe a try!

Equipment needed:   Food Processor    or    Box grater   Instant-read thermometer

1 pound sweet potatoes or yams, peeled

2 Tablespoons finely-minced ginger

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Vegetable oil, for frying

Applesauce, for serving (optional)

Make the batter:  Shred the sweet potatoes with the shredding disk of a food processor, or on a box grater by hand.  Place in a large bowl,  Add the ginger. Process the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. (Alternately, beat with a hand mixer until very smooth, or by hand until very smooth, no lumps.)  Add to the sweet potatoes and toss together until well-mixed.

Cook the Latkes:  In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of the oil over medium-high heat until it registers about 365-degrees on an instant-read thermometer.  Drop about 1/3 cup batter into the skillet for each latke, flattening the batter a bit, to make a 4 to 5-inch pancake.  (For appetizer size, drop a Tablespoon for each latke).  Cook until golden on the bottom, 3-4 minutes.  If they brown too fast, or take too long to brown, decrease or increase the heat.  Turn and brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes.  (The appetizer size will take less time.)  Remove and place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.  Blot the tops with paper towel.  Serve with applesauce, if desired.  (You can make these up to a day in advance, layered with wax paper in an air tight container, and refrigerated. Reheat in a 400-degree oven for until heated through, 5-6 minutes.  Appetizer size will take less time, so watch them carefully.)

To Freeze and Reheat: Freeze on baking sheets in single layers.  When they are solid, layer in an airtight container with wax paper and store in the freezer.  To reheat, do not defrost.  Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and bake at 400-degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until hot and crisp.  Appetizer size will take less time, so watch carefully.)

Makes 10 large, or about 50 appetizer size.

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Molded Almond Christmas Cookies

Molded Almond Christmas Cookie

Molded Almond Christmas Cookie

These cookies are an absolute must every year at my family's Christmas gathering!  They are not decorated or fancy, but they are molded into lovely shapes and have a rich, addictive almond flavor.  My daughter-in-law, Lainie, insists that they are best when consumed with Hot Spiced Cider (Wassail)!  I make sure to have LOTS of these, as the kids and grand kids always request some to take home.  They do take a while to make (especially when you have many to make!), but it takes no longer than baking and decorating traditional cookies. If you can't find clay cookie molds, cookie stamps will work, just roll out the dough, cut into circles, and stamp. This is the original recipe from Brown Bag, the maker of my cookie molds. Love these!

Equipment needed:  Cookie Molds   or Cookie Stamps  Food Processor    Cookie Sheets

2 sticks softened butter

4 ounces almond paste (marzipan)

1 cup sugar

2 medium eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

Place the butter, almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  (Alternately, you can mash together the sugar and almond paste until smooth, then add the butter and beat until very smooth by hand.)  Add the egg and almond extract and beat until thoroughly combined.  Add the flour and salt and mix until smooth.

Brush the cookie molds very lightly with oil, making sure the entire surface is coated, but wipe out any excess with a paper towel, if needed.  Sprinkle liberally with flour and shake and rotate the mold to make sure the flour coats then entire mold(See the video above!)

Press the dough into the mold firmly, then firmly tap the mold onto a cutting board until the cookie releases.  Carefully transfer to a cookie sheet. 

Repeat, only flour may be needed once the mold is well "seasoned".

(Alternately, roll out the dough on a lightly floured board, cut into rounds or with cookie cutters. Use a cookie stamp on the rounds.)

Bake the cookies from 10-15 minutes, depending on size and thickness.  Rotate the pan after 7 minutes.  The cookies should be slightly brown around the edges and the cookies are firm in the center.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or wrap individually and freeze.

Yield depends on the size of the molds.  I usually get 9-12 from this recipe.

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Layered Goat Cheese Terrine

Layered Goat Cheese Terrine

Layered Goat Cheese Terrine

This is one of those recipes that you'll get requests for; it has a beautiful presentation, and the flavors are fabulous!  Making it a day ahead allows it to firm up and eliminates last-minute prep on day you plan to serve it.  Add it to a cheese board and it will be the star!  This is fabulous served with a glass of your favorite wine or sparkling cider.

Equipment needed: 3 or 4-cup bowl with sloping sides        Off-set spatula

11 ounce log of fresh goat cheese

6 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly-ground back pepper

1/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (purchased)

1/3 cup Basil Pesto (may use store-bought in a pinch)

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Line the inside of a 4-cup sharply sloping bowl (5-inchesor so across the top) with plastic wrap with about 3 inches of overhang; use two pieces to assure the bowl is completely covered and try to smooth the wrap as much a possible. 

In a bowl combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream either by hand,orwith a hand or stand mixer.  Mix until well-combined and smooth.  Season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Place slightly less than 1/3 of the cheese mixture in the prepared bowl and pack it into an even layer.  Smooth the sun-dried tomato pesto over the top of the cheese.  Drop half of the remaining cheese mixture over the top of the sun-dried tomato basil; pack and smooth it evenly.  Carefully smooth the basil pesto over the cheese mixture.  Press the remaining cheese over the pesto and press down.  Cover the top of the cheese with the overhanging plastic wrap and press down lightly and seal well.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, and may be assembled a day in advance. 

When ready to serve, peel back the plastic wrap and invert onto a platter or cheese board.  Lift off the bowl and gently peel away the plastic wrap.  Using an off-set spatula, smooth a bit as needed.  Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and drizzle with just a bit of olive oil.  Surround with cracker or crostini and serve.

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Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Pie

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Pie

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Pie

This delectable pie is a riff on a dessert that has a special place in the hearts of all of the women in my family!  "Peppermint Fluff" was always on the dessert buffet during the holidays, layers of fluffy peppermint flavored mousse and chocolate cookie crumbs.  I decided to use my "Whipped Cream that won't Fall Flat" to create both a peppermint and chocolate mousse and layer it into a chocolate pie shell.  It's deceptively light and creamy, the perfect addition to your Holiday dessert table, or ending to any holiday meal!

Equipment needed:  Kitchen Scale  9-inch pie plate     Mixer       Offset Spatulas

Place the bowl and whip attachment of the stand mixer in the freezer to chill until ready to prepare filling.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick spray.

For the crust:

(In a pinch, you can use a purchased chocolate cookie crust)

8 ounces finely-ground chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs

2 ounces (4 T.) melted butter

Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter until very well mixed.  Press evenly into the pie pan, firming the bottom with a metal measuring cup and creating a rim with your fingers.  Freeze for about one hour.

For the filling:

1/4 cup cool water

1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 ounces good quality dark chocolate

2 Tablespoons + 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 drops red food coloring

Place the water in a small bow and sprinkle the gelatin over the top.  Let mixture sit for about 2 minutes, then stir to combine.  Microwave in 15 second increments, until heated through and the gelatin is dissolved completely, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Place the chocolate in a medium glass bowl and microwave in 20-second increments, stirring as needed, until the chocolate is melted.  Side aside.

Place 1 cup of heavy cream in the chilled mixer bowl along with 2 Tablespoons of the powdered sugar.  Mix on medium speed until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes frothy.  Increase the speed to high, and slowly stream in 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of the gelatin mixture (if the gelatin has begun to thicken, heat briefly in the microwave just until it is fluid again, but not hot). Whip until the cream is very stiff.  Add 1/4 of the mixture to the melted chocolate (re-warm slightly if any of the chocolate has hardened, do not let it get hot) and whisk until evenly combined.  Add the remaining whipped cream and combine until uniformly mixed.  Set aside (don't refrigerate).

Place the remaining heavy cream, 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar, peppermint extract, and 2 drops of red food coloring into the same mixer bowl.  Beat together on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is becoming frothy.  Increase speed to high and slowly drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of the liquid gelatin mixture.  Whip until very stiff.  Set aside.

Assemble the pie:

Remove the pie shell from the freezer.  Pile half of the peppermint filling in the shell.  Using an offset spatula, spread evenly into the shell.

Scoop all of the chocolate filling onto the top of the peppermint filling and carefully smooth over the peppermint filling to the edges of the crust.

Scoop the remaining peppermint filling onto the chocolate filling.  Smooth evenly over the top of the chocolate.

Sprinkle with additional cookie crumbs, or wait to garnish and serve drizzled with Chocolate Sauce.  Freeze for 2 hours, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serving Tip:  For perfectly neat slicing, freeze the pie completely, then cut with a wet knife, wiping after each cut.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving, until defrosted.  This is good served slightly frozen, too.

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Pumpkin Cranberry Soup

Pumpkin Cranberry Soup

Pumpkin Cranberry Soup

This soup was a best-seller every fall, with customers asking when it would be on the menu as soon as the weather turned cool.  It is one of my personal favorites; its creamy pumpkin base is dotted with sherry-soaked dried cranberries, both beautiful and delectable.  This soup is a great first or last course.  This soup freezes well, so you can make it ahead and enjoy it several times!  This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New England Soup Factory Cookbook.  (Makes a little over a gallon-you can cut the recipe in half, if you like.)

Equipment needed: Vegetable Peeler   Chefs Knife     Stockpot      Immersion Blender

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup cream sherry

3 Tablespoons butter

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 large celery stalks, diced

5 carrots, peeled and sliced

 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

16 ounces pumpkin puree, fresh or canned

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream (I sometimes omit this)

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place the cranberries in a glass bowl and add the sherry.  Cover the bowl and let the cranberries soak for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight (my preference).

In a stockpot melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add the squash and saute for 5 minutes longer.  Add the pumpkin puree, stock, brown sugar, maple syrup, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the squash is soft and tender.  Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender until the soup is very smooth and velvety.  Add the cream, cranberries, and their soaking liquid.  Stir, taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms & Crispy Shallots

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

This dish features two fall favorites; mushrooms and Brussels sprouts!  This is a terrific side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, or any autumn or winter supper.  There are tips for doing as much as possible ahead of serving, a help when there are several dishes on the menu.  The fried shallots are fantastic used in lot of applications, from topping a creamy soup to a salad.  Equipment needed:  Deep-fry thermometer, Sheet Pan, skillet, spider

For Brussels Sprouts:

1 1/2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

For Shallots:

1 cup vegetable oil

4 ounces shallots, cleaned cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices and separated into rings

For Mushrooms:

3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounce) unsalted butter

12 ounces mixed fresh wild mushrooms, or domestic in a variety of kinds (chanterelle & oyster are great choices!)

2 Tablespoons dry white wine

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup water

Prep the Brussels Sprouts:

*The sprouts can be roasted 4-5 hours ahead of time, kept covered at room temperature, then reheated at 400-degrees just before combining with the mushroom mixture.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees and place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.

Toss the sprouts with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast, stirring occasionally and rotating the pan halfway through for about 25-35 minutes, or until they are tender and browned.

Prepare the shallots and mushrooms while the sprouts roast.

Prep the shallots:

*Note: shallots may be prepared a day ahead, cooled completely, and kept in an airtight container lined with paper towels at room temperature

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over moderate heat until the temperature reaches 250-degrees Fahrenheit (You may need to place the thermometer at an angle in the oil to get an accurate read.  If the thermometer is long enough, you can rest it on the top of the pan so that the bulb is covered by oil.  Check often.)  Fry the shallots in 2 batches, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, 3-5 minutes per batch (Watch closely, as they can go from golden to burnt in a flash!) Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels in a single layer.  Pour the oil into a heat-proof container, do not wipe out the pan.

Saute the Mushrooms:

*Mushrooms can be prepared an hour ahead, and kept in the skillet, partially covered.  Reheat when ready to add the sprouts.

Heat 2 1/2 Tablespoons of butter in the skillet over moderately-high heat until the foam subsides, then saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, a couple of minutes.  Add the 1/4 cup water and the remaining butt and simmer, swirling the skillet, until the butter is melted.  Transfer to a serving dish and stir in the Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle some of the shallots over the top, put the rest in a small bowl and serve them on the side.

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Thanksgiving Oyster Dressing

Thanksgiving Oyster Dressing made with Challah

Thanksgiving Oyster Dressing made with Challah

This is my absolute favorite side dish for Thanksgiving!  It is a family tradition, and the thing that makes the meal for me.  The flavor is amazing!  If the oysters are really large, cut them into bite-sized pieces.  If you just can't abide the thought of oyster ANYTHING, omit them.  I can't wait for Thanksgiving dinner! (Click the button above to see the video!)

12-3/4" Slices stale Challah, Brioche, or other (“eggy” bread) crusts removed, cut into cubes (The bread should not be overly sweet, such as a Hawaiian and some Brioches.  You can use French or white bread, if you prefer.)

4 Tablespoons Butter or 2 ounces

1 Medium Onion, diced fine

2 Celery Ribs, diced into 1/4" pieces

1 Large Clove of Garlic, minced

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne

2 Tablespoons Cognac

2 Dozen Fresh Shucked Oysters (purchase them in the seafood section; they usually come in a half-pint plastic container, you will need two containers, or 1 pint.  Of course, you can shuck your own if you like!)

1/3 Cup Oyster Liquor

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

2 extra-large eggs

1 1/2 Cups Low-sodium Chicken Broth, plus additional as needed

          2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley 

Heat the oven to 350-degrees.  Cut brioche into 3/4-inch cubes.  Spread on a 17 x 12-inch baking sheet; bake until dry, 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add onion, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes.  Add nutmeg, cayenne, cognac, and oyster liquor; cook until liquid is absorbed, 1 minute.  Add oysters and cream, cook 30 seconds.  Remove from heat. In a large bowl beat the eggs and beat in the chicken broth.  Add the bread cubes, oyster mixture, and parsley. The mixture should be very “loose” with plenty of liquid to avoid a dry dressing. 

Spread in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking pan.  Bake covered, about 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake until golden brown and puffed all over.  Serve hot.

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Cranberry Sauce with Apricots & Sherry

My favorite!  Cranberry Sauce with Apricots & Sherry

My favorite!  Cranberry Sauce with Apricots & Sherry

I adore this sauce!  For me, Thanksgiving is all about the sides; turkey is pretty boring without them.  And this sauce will be on my table every year.  It's so easy to make; the hardest part is remember so slice and soak the apricots in sherry the day before.  Try this once, and I believe it will become a regular on your holiday table, too. Serves 8

1/2 Cup Dried Apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 Cup Sherry
3/4 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
12 Ounces Fresh Cranberries

Combine apricots and sherry in a small bowl; cover and let stand 8 hours.

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.  Add apricot mixture, honey and cranberries.  Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until slightly thick.  Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and chill.  Bring to room temperature to serve.

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Sweet Potato Swirl Cheesecake

Sweet Potato Swirl Cheesecake

Feast of Eden was well known for cheesecake!  It was the first product I sold after I started the business, and by the time the cafe closed we had created 17 different versions.  Here comes #18!  I love sweet potatoes, and thought it might work even better than pumpkin; I was right!  I hope you love this Thanksgiving dessert! (I have begun listing the necessary equipment for recipes.  I have shopped for the best deals, so just click on the item to view and purchase if you don't have it!)

Equipment needed: Stand mixer, immersion blender (optional), cheesecake pan, offset spatula, rubber spatula, parchment paperpastry bag with large tip & coupler

For the crust:

3 1/2 ounces each, Gingersnaps and Vanilla Wafers, made into fine crumbs

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 ounces (3Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2 pounds cream cheese (full-fat is best!)

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 extra-large eggs

1 cup cooked, pureed sweet potato

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Whipped Cream (that won't fall flat)

3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees

Make the crust:

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch cheesecake or springform pan.  Spray the pan well with non-stick spray, place the parchment in the bottom, then spray the parchment paper.

Combine all of the crust ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well-combined.  Spread evenly in the pan, using the back of a spoon to level the crumbs.  Using a one cup measure, compact the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan.  (See video)  Set aside.

Make the filling:

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl several times.  Add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat until very well combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl several times.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined, scraping the bowl a few times to be sure there are no streaks of egg.  Remove 1 cup of batter to a medium bowl.

Add the spices and sweet potato puree to the 1 cup batter and blend with an immersion blender or by hand until smooth and uniform in color.

Place 1/2 of the plain cheesecake batter in the prepared crust and smooth with an offset spatula.  Drop half of the sweet potato filling by spoonfuls evenly over the top of the batter in the pan and swirl with a spatula or butter knife, being careful not to gouge the crust.  Repeat the process with the remaining batters and smooth the top a bit.  Tap the cheesecake gently on the counter to settle the batter.

Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 450-degrees for 10 minutes.  Rotate the pan in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325-degrees.  Bake for an addition 30-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is puffed and just slightly jiggles in the center when the pan is lightly shaken.

Remove to a cooling rack and immediately run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake (if the cheesecake is loosened from the sides it decreases the likelihood of post-baking cracks) and cool completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before garnishing.

Carefully remove the sides of the pan from the cheesecake.  Run a very large, broad spatula between the crust and the parchment to loosen.  Carefully lift the cheesecake onto a serving plate.  Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip and swirl the whipped cream around the edges and in the center of the cheesecake.  Combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon and sift it over the top of the whipped cream.

Keep refrigerated.  Cheesecakes freeze well and will keep at least a month in the freezer.  To freeze, place the cheesecake on a moisture-proof 9" cake circle before decorating.  Decorate, and place the cheesecake on a sheet pan, cover lightly with a piece of waxed paper and freeze.  Once frozen it can be sliced and placed in an airtight container.  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cheesecake in the storage container to prevent ice crystals from forming on the cheesecake.  Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

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Farm Journal's Pumpkin Pecan Pie

I can never decide what kind of pie I want come Thanksgiving dinner!  A fan of both pumpkin and pecan, it is a difficult choice because there is surely not room for both.  A sliver of each is just not quite satisfying; enter this recipe!  This farm woman had it going on, adding a crunchy layer of sweet pecans over the top of a traditional pumpkin pie.  Start with Feast's Basic Pie Crust for a perfect, crisp bottom layer.  Watch the topping carefully as you broil it!  I made the mistake of having the broiler on high; the crust and a few pecans quickly started to blacken, so definitely use a lower setting or place the pie further away.  Don't overdo it, either, or the topping will become syrupy; just broil until the topping bubbles and browns a little.  Top it with Whipped Cream That Won't Fall Flat, and you'll have the perfect Thanksgiving pie!

Filling is a mellow golden brown, rich like an old gold coin.

Unbaked 9-inch Basic Pie Crust pie shell

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups pumpkin puree

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 cup half and half

Topping:

3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounce) soft unsalted butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven.

Blend together the eggs and pumpkin well.  Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and mix well. Blend in the cream thoroughly.  Pour into the pie shell and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge of pie comes out clean.  Cool completely on rack.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and pecan and mix well.  Spread over the cooled pie to completely cover the top.  Broil 5" below heat until mixture begins to bubble, about 3 minutes.  Watch carefully.  (If cooked too long, top will turn syrupy.)  Cool completely on rack before serving.

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