Onion Custard Pie

1 prepared 9 inch pie crust
4 tablespoons butter
4 onions, peeled and sliced thin
Salt
Pepper

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Gruy?re cheese
Pinch cayenne pepper


Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch round. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough, folding the edges in to make double-thick sides. Press the sides in well and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375?. To keep the dough from shrinking while it bakes, line the shell with a piece of foil or parchment paper, then fill the tart with a layer of dried beans or other pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edge. Take the tart out of the oven; remove the foil and the weights. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the pastry is an even light golden brown. (I went for 10 more minutes here and think it would have been fine to go even a bit longer.)

In a heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter over a medium flame. Then add the onions and cook until soft and golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure the onions are already delicious by themselves. Cool.

Mix together the remaining ingredients. When the onions are cool, spread them in the baked tart shell, pour in the custard mixture, and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden brown. Let the pie sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so to firm up before you cut into it.

Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large tart cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (can substitute ground nutmeg)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes


Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, salt, and mace.

Place squash in an 8×8-inch baking dish. Top with apples and cranberries. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top. Dot with butter cubes. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. Stir before serving, so squash and apples are sufficiently sauced.

Tex Mex Migas

4 corn tortillas
Canola oil, to fry tortillas
10 to 12 large eggs
1/4 cup half & half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced (leave white membranes if you like things spicy)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, depending on your taste
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or Cotija cheese


In a bowl, whisk together eggs and half & half. Salt and pepper eggs, then set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat, heat oil and fry each corn tortilla just until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop tortillas and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the olive oil with the butter. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until starting to turn brown/black, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in diced jalapenos and stir to combine. Add tomatoes to the skillet and stir around, then add tortilla pieces, stirring gently to combine.
Reduce heat to low.

When the heat has decreased, pour egg mixture into skillet. Stir gently to cook with the peppers, folding mixture very gently as it cooks. Add in grated cheese and chopped cilantro, and stir to combine. Serve with black beans and iced coffee.

Mexican Migas

2 links Mexican or Spanish chorizo, removed from casing, diced or coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons oil (a mixture of corn and olive oil works best)
8 eggs, lightly beaten
20 corn tortilla chips, preferably fresh
tomato coulis (see related recipe)
Fresh cilantro for garnish


First, cook the chorizo. Heat a medium-sized stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until the chorizo is golden and cooked through, about ten minutes. Add the eggs and after a minute, the chips. Use a wooden spoon to crush the chips as you stir to cook the eggs. Cook for about five minutes (mine took less) or until almost cooked through.Remove from heat.

Set up four plates for serving. Ladle some coulis in the bottom of each dish, top with some of the egg mixture and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve immediately.

Payard’s Chocolate Cookies

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, such as Droste
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cocoa nibs, preferably Scharffen-Berger


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, taking care that there are no lumps.

Combine the vanilla and egg whites in a measuring cup or mug, and slowly add them to the cocoa mixture, beating at low speed. When you have added all the liquid, continue to beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the batter is glossy and smooth. It will be fairly thin but quite viscous. Stir in the walnuts and cocoa nibs.

Using a medium (roughly 2 Tbs) ice cream scoop, place 5 mounds of batter about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. The batter will spread. Slide the pan into the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake the cookies until small, thin cracks appear on their surface, about 14-17 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool them completely on a rack. When they are cool, peel them gently from the parchment paper. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, increasing the oven temperature to 350 degrees before each round. It should take three rounds total to use all the batter.

Gigante Beans with Tomatoes and Oregano Pesto

3 cups dried giant lima beans or gigantes, rinsed and picked over, then soaked for 4 hours and drained
Kosher salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, juices reserved, tomatoes coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese (6 1/2 ounces), for sprinkling
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

For pesto:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 small garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt


Prepare the beans: In a large saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are just tender but still al dente, about 2 1/2 hours; add water as needed to keep the beans covered by 2 inches. Season with salt and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.

In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano and the reserved bean cooking liquid and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 1 hour. Season the tomato sauce with salt.

Meanwhile, make the pesto: In a mini food processor, combine the olive oil with the oregano, parsley and garlic and pulse to a coarse puree. Season the oregano pesto with salt.

Preheat the oven to 425. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, mix the limas with the tomato sauce and sprinkle the feta on top. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until the beans are bubbling and the cheese is browned. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Top the beans with the bread crumbs, dollop with the oregano pesto and serve.

The cooked limas, tomato sauce and pesto can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Maple Roasted Yams with Brandied Raisins

1/2 cup brown raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup brandy
5 pounds garnet yams or other yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, toasted


Combine brown raisins, golden raisins, and brandy in small bowl; toss to blend. Let soak at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Cook yams in large pot of boiling salted water until just barely tender, about 8 minutes. Using large slotted spoon, transfer yams to baking sheet to cool.

Meanwhile, bring 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until brown sugar dissolves. Boil 2 minutes.

Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Drain raisins (reserve brandy for another use). Place raisins in very large bowl. Add cooked yams, then maple syrup mixture and toasted walnut pieces. Toss gently to coat evenly, being careful to keep yams intact. Transfer yam mixture to prepared baking dish.

DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake yams uncovered until syrup is thick and bubbling, basting occasionally, about 55 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Potato, Apple, and Onion Gratin

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided
2 pounds onions, sliced
2 tablespoons (packed) chopped fresh thyme
4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold, yellow Finn, or German Butterball potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 pounds tart apples (such as Granny Smith, Pippin, or Pink Lady), peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Preparation
Preheat oven to 400?F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, and 2 teaspoons salt; saut? until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; saut? until onions are tender and begin to color, about 8 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 2/3 cup water, wine, and sugar to skillet; stir and swirl skillet to combine. Bring to boil. Cool onion mixture to lukewarm.
Combine potatoes, apples, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and onion mixture in large bowl; toss gently to blend. Transfer to prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Cover dish with parchment paper, then cover with foil, shiny side down. Bake gratin until potatoes are tender, about 55 minutes. Uncover and bake until top browns and juices bubble thickly, about 20 minutes longer. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm, loosely covered with foil, in 300?F oven for 20 minutes. Let gratin stand 15 minutes before serving.


Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, thyme, and 2 teaspoons salt; saut? until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; saut? until onions are tender and begin to color, about 8 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 2/3 cup water, wine, and sugar to skillet; stir and swirl skillet to combine. Bring to boil. Cool onion mixture to lukewarm.

Combine potatoes, apples, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and onion mixture in large bowl; toss gently to blend.

Transfer to prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Cover dish with parchment paper, then cover with foil, shiny side down.

Bake gratin until potatoes are tender, about 55 minutes. Uncover and bake until top browns and juices bubble thickly, about 20 minutes longer.

DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm, loosely covered with foil, in 300?F oven for 20 minutes. Let gratin stand 15 minutes before serving.

Potato and Yam Gratin

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1/2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 5 ounces)


Fill large bowl with cold water. Working with 1 Yukon Gold potato at a time, peel, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and place in bowl with water. Repeat with sweet potatoes. Combine cream, butter, and garlic in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Mix all herbs in small bowl. Mix sea salt and black pepper in another small bowl.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Drain potatoes, then pat dry with kitchen towels. Transfer half of potatoes to prepared baking dish. Use hands to distribute and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of salt-pepper mixture, then half of herb mixture. Sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining potatoes, salt-pepper mixture, herb mixture, and cheese. Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Remove plastic wrap before baking.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover gratin tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until top of gratin is golden and most of liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
2 (3-ounce) packages halved ladyfingers
1/4 cup rum
2 ounces crushed amaretti cookies


Beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks form. Add mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice; beat just until filling is smooth.

Line bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 1 package ladyfingers, overlapping and crowding to fit. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum. Spread half of filling over ladyfingers.

Repeat with second package ladyfingers, remaining 2 tablespoons rum, and remaining filling. Smooth. Wrap tightly in plastic, then foil. Chill overnight.

To unmold, run knife around inside edge of pan. Release pan sides; sprinkle with amaretti cookies.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Cake

Apples
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith apples (about 4 large)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs

Vanilla ice cream


For apples:
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; saut? until apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and saut? until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Cool.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture for topping. Beat pumpkin, sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, spice, and baking soda into remaining flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Beat in eggs. Transfer batter to pan. Scatter apples evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved topping over apples.

Bake cake until topping is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides from cake. Transfer cake to platter. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 3/4 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 slices cinnamon raisin bread (each about 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches)

3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 tablespoon amaretto or Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons whipping cream
6 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar


Stir half and half and 3/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove saucepan from heat; cool mixture to lukewarm.

Spread butter over 1 side of each bread slice. Cut bread into 3/4-inch pieces. Divide among six 1 1/4-cup souffl? dishes or custard cups.

Whisk pumpkin, yolks, egg, liqueur, vanilla, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl until blended. Add half and half mixture; whisk until smooth. Pour pumpkin custard over bread in dishes, dividing equally. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to submerge.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place souffl? dishes in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of souffl? dishes; tent loosely with foil. Place roasting pan in oven. Bake puddings until knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer puddings to rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat broiler. Spoon 1 tablespoon whipping cream over top of each pudding. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon brown sugar over each. Broil puddings until tops are bubbly and golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Pie with Streusel

1 9-inch baked pie crust

Streusel
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Pumpkin filling
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sweetened whipped cream


Preheat oven to 375 F.

For streusel:
Mix flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Stir in nuts.

For pumpkin filling:
Whisk pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in medium bowl. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Whisk in melted butter and vanilla. Pour into prepared crust.

Sprinkle streusel over filling. Bake pie until streusel is golden and filling is set, about 45 minutes. Cool on rack at least 2 hours. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Maple Caramel

1 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Stir sugar and butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until blended and smooth. Whisk in cream. Bring to boil, stirring until caramel bits dissolve. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and vanilla; simmer 1 minute. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Pumpkin Profiteroles

Maple caramel
1 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin custard
3 cups whipping cream
2 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
9 large egg yolks

Profiteroles
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

Lightly sweetened whipped cream
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped


Maple caramel
1 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin custard
3 cups whipping cream
2 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
9 large egg yolks

Profiteroles
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

Lightly sweetened whipped cream
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
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PreparationFor maple caramel:
Stir sugar and butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until blended and smooth. Whisk in cream. Bring to boil, stirring until caramel bits dissolve. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and vanilla; simmer 1 minute. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For pumpkin custard:
Preheat oven to 325?F. Whisk cream and next 6 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl. Gradually stir hot pumpkin mixture into egg yolk mixture.

Pour pumpkin custard into 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil. Place dish in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Fill baking pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish. Bake until custard is set in center, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

For profiteroles:
Preheat oven to 425?F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring 1/2 cup water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Stir in flour; cook over medium-high heat, stirring vigorously, until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer hot mixture to standing mixer. Beat dough with paddle attachment at medium speed until slightly cool, about 3 minutes. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in egg yolk until blended.

Spoon 16 mounds of batter about the size of large eggs onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Beat remaining egg in small bowl to blend. Brush tops of profiteroles lightly with beaten egg. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375?F. Continue baking until puffed and dark golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to rack to cool completely. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container in freezer. Remove from freezer a few hours before continuing.)

Rewarm caramel sauce. Using serrated knife, slice profiteroles horizontally in half. Spoon rounded 1/3 cup filling into bottom half of each profiterole. Cover with top halves. Drizzle with sauce. Spoon dollop of whipped cream atop profiteroles. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and serve.

For maple caramel:
Stir sugar and butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until blended and smooth. Whisk in cream. Bring to boil, stirring until caramel bits dissolve. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and vanilla; simmer 1 minute. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For pumpkin custard:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Whisk cream and next 6 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl. Gradually stir hot pumpkin mixture into egg yolk mixture.

Pour pumpkin custard into 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil. Place dish in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Fill baking pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish. Bake until custard is set in center, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

For profiteroles:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring 1/2 cup water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Stir in flour; cook over medium-high heat, stirring vigorously, until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer hot mixture to standing mixer. Beat dough with paddle attachment at medium speed until slightly cool, about 3 minutes. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in egg yolk until blended.

Spoon 16 mounds of batter about the size of large eggs onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Beat remaining egg in small bowl to blend. Brush tops of profiteroles lightly with beaten egg. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 F. Continue baking until puffed and dark golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to rack to cool completely. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container in freezer. Remove from freezer a few hours before continuing.)

Rewarm caramel sauce. Using serrated knife, slice profiteroles horizontally in half. Spoon rounded 1/3 cup filling into bottom half of each profiterole. Cover with top halves. Drizzle with sauce. Spoon dollop of whipped cream atop profiteroles. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and serve.

Pumpkin Cream Brulee

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups heavy whipping cream
8 tablespoons raw sugar or golden brown sugar


Preheat oven to 325 F. Whisk pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla, then spices and salt. Bring cream just to boil in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk hot cream into pumpkin mixture.

Divide mixture among eight 5×1-inch ramekins. Divide ramekins between 2 large roasting pans. Add enough hot water to pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until custards are just set in center, about 35 minutes.

Chill custards until cold, about 6 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon raw sugar over pumpkin custard in each ramekin. Using kitchen torch, melt sugar until deep amber. (Alternatively, use broiler.

Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar [not raw sugar] and melt directly under broiler until deep amber.) Refrigerate 15 minutes to allow sugar to harden.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 hour ahead. Keep chilled.

MORE INFO
This recipe can also be made using 3-inch-diameter ramekins with 1 1/4-inch-high sides. Bake for about 50 minutes.

Pumpkin Flan

For caramel and flan:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
5 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 (15-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin (1 3/4 cups; not pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

For spiced pumpkin seeds
1 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (1/4 lb; not toasted)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne


Make caramel:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 F. Heat souffle dish in oven while making caramel.

Cook 1 cup sugar in a dry 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel.

Wearing oven mitts, remove hot dish from oven and immediately pour caramel into dish, tilting it to cover bottom and side. (Leave oven on.) Keep tilting as caramel cools and thickens enough to coat, then let harden.

Make flan:
Bring cream and milk to a bare simmer in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.

Whisk together whole eggs, yolk, and remaining cup sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then whisk in pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt until combined well. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, scraping with a rubber spatula to force through, and stir to combine well.

Pour custard over caramel in dish, then bake in a water bath until flan is golden brown on top and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.

Remove dish from water bath and transfer to a rack to cool. Chill flan, covered, until cold, at least 6 hours.

Make spiced pumpkin seeds while flan chills:
Toast pumpkin seeds in oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss with salt and cayenne until coated.

To serve:
Run a thin knife between flan and side of dish to loosen. Shake dish gently from side to side and, when flan moves freely in dish, invert a large platter with a lip over dish.

Holding dish and platter securely together, quickly invert and turn out flan onto platter. (Caramel will pour out over and around flan.) Sprinkle flan with spiced pumpkin seeds just before serving.

Creamed Leeks

3 1/2 lb leeks, root ends trimmed
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from a country loaf, crusts discarded)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450 F.

Cut each leek into an 8-inch length, measuring from root end, and halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into roughly 1 1/2-inch pieces. (You should have about 8 cups.) Wash leek pieces in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and transfer to another bowl. Repeat with clean water, then drain leeks well.

Cook bread crumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cut out a round from parchment or wax paper to fit just inside a 12-inch heavy skillet.

Cook leeks with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, leeks covered directly with parchment, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 12 minutes.

Discard parchment and transfer leeks with a slotted spoon to gratin dish. Pour cream slowly over leeks, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Bake until cream is bubbling and slightly thickened and crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes.