Sweet Potatoes with Apple Butter

4 pounds sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup apple butter
Salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until very tender.

Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until creamy, then mash in the butter and apple butter. Season with salt and serve.

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby brussels sprouts or regular brussels sprouts halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon walnut oil

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper, then cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil and cook until hot.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and serve.

Maple-Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Pecans

1 1/2 cups pecans
4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
2 large parsnips (1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, squash and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and nutmeg and season generously with salt and black pepper. Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Scatter the pecans and ginger over the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup; toss well. Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, until they are tender and golden. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD
The roasted vegetables can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours before serving.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Feta

1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 425. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD
The roasted winter vegetables and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight. Rewarm the roasted vegetables before serving.

Sheet Pan Turkey Dinner

For the Stuffing:

1 pound (1 loaf) sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced sage
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and finely chopped

For the Turkey:
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon minced sage
1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 2-pound turkey breast, skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sweet Potatoes:

1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
4 tablespoons brown butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Green Beans:
12 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare the stuffing: Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, mix all of the stuffing ingredients until well incorporated. Let soak for 15 minutes, then spread in an even layer over the left half of the baking sheet, making a well in the center for the turkey.

Meanwhile, prepare the turkey: In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter with the sage, thyme and minced garlic. Season the turkey breast well with salt and pepper, then place in the center of the stuffing. Rub the turkey with the butter mixture.

Prepare the sweet potatoes: In a medium bowl, toss all of the sweet potato ingredients together to coat. Spread the sweet potatoes over the top half of the empty right side of the baking sheet. The slices will overlap like a gratin. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the green beans: In a medium bowl, toss together all the green beans ingredients. After 30 minutes, add the green beans to the remaining quarter of the baking sheet, spreading in an even layer to fill the space. Continue to cook until the green beans are tender and the turkey reads 155° on an instant-read thermometer when inserted, another 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and tent with foil, then let rest for 15 minutes. Carve the turkey and serve.

Brown Butter Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds (1.4kg) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 packet unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/4 teaspoons; 4g)
1/4 cup (60ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons; 115g)
3 rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon (5ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat water to 160°F (70°C) as registered on an instant-read thermometer. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Drain sweet potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread sweet potatoes on 2 rimmed baking sheets and roast until bottom sides are browned, about 30 minutes. Carefully flip potatoes with a thin spatula and roast until second side is browned and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small container, sprinkle gelatin over chicken stock and let bloom for 5 minutes. Microwave until gelatin is dissolved, stopping and stirring as needed to help it dissolve, about 2 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until foamy. Continue to cook, swirling pan, until milk solids in butter turn a deep hazelnut brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add rosemary (don’t be alarmed; butter will foam and fizzle when rosemary is added), swirling to coat.

Add chicken stock to butter, return to medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Cook, swirling, until stock reduces slightly and sauce becomes rich and silky, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, discard rosemary, and add lemon juice. Season with salt.

In a mixing bowl, toss potatoes with butter sauce and serve. Potatoes can be made in advance, tossed with sauce, and set aside until ready to serve; rewarm in the oven before serving.

Classic Plum Torte (and 5 Variations)

3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 eggs
24 halves pitted purple plums
Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.

Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.

To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal. To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Variations:

1. Replace the plums with almost any seasonal fruit: apricots, halved and pitted; cranberries or any summer berry; sliced apples, nectarines, peaches and pears. Canned and frozen fruit can stand in for fresh. Reader comments:
–Made this for the first time using 4 cups of blueberries and raspberries (mixed). It was perfect!

–I’ve been using a version of this for years as a cranberry holiday bread.

–I have made this with about a quart of drained canned fruit of any type, as well as frozen. I can plums, peaches and pears in season, and if a jar fails to seal, you can bake this cake with it rather than reprocess the jar.

2. Experiment with spices, herbs and extracts: vanilla extract, almond extract, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, rosemary, orange or lemon zest. Reader comments:

–I add about a half teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract to the batter. This cake is so easy and good. I even memorized the recipe — except my memorization was imperfect and I baked the cake with the fruit on the bottom by accident. It still was delicious!

–I added a teaspoon of finely minced fresh rosemary to the batter… nice, subtle flavor.

3. Play with the flours. You can add almond or cornmeal flour to the all-purpose flour, or swap in gluten-free flour blends, with excellent results. (Melissa Clark made a version with whole wheat flour.) Reader comments:

Made this with gluten-free flour and it turned out Perfectly! Everyone loved it.

I substituted 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup brown rice flour for 1 cup of wheat flour. I also added parchment paper over the greased bottom of the spring pan. It was delicious served warm.

Made this last night after tasting the one made by our daughter. Used raspberries and blackberries, one basket each, instead of plums, and 1/3 cup cornmeal and 2/3 cup flour. Fantastic!!! The cornmeal adds a very sophisticated “Italian” character to it, very slight crunch, and amazing flavor.

4. Double, triple, even quadruple it. The batter scales up like a dream, and the baked cake freezes well. Reader comments:

This is one of my favorite recipes and has been for many years. In addition to plums, I’ve used blueberries, peaches, apples and various combinations of more than one fruit. It also freezes great. I line the baking dish with aluminum foil and once baked and cooled slightly, turn the baking dish upside down on a plate, peel off the foil, then turn it right-side up on another plate.

Double the recipe and it fits nicely in 13-by-9-inch disposable aluminum pans.

5. Change up the pan. The torte can be baked in any dish provided it’s approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter and oven-safe.

Make it in any Pyrex, casserole, anything.

Used my pie plate because my springform pan was nowhere to be found.

A 9-inch pan gives greater height and moisture to the tart than a 10-inch pan.

Sweet Potato Flans

The Flan

1 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sea salt

Caramel Pecans and Maple Yogurt

1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup pecans, broken or whole
1 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Heat the oven to 325 F.

In a blender, combine the sweet potato, spices, maple syrup, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and purée until smooth.

Divide the purée among six custard dishes. Put the custard dishes in a large baking pan and pour hot water into the pan until it reaches at least an inch up the sides of the dishes.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. The flans should be set and barely quiver when shaken. Let cool.

While the flan is cooling, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Then add the pecans, sprinkle with sugar, and turn to coat evenly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar coats and caramelizes the nuts.

Remove to a plate and sprinkle with salt. Chop as finely or coarsely as you want.

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and the yogurt. Taste, and add more maple syrup if you want.

Serve the flan topped with a spoonful of maple yogurt, garnished with chopped caramel pecans.

Creamed Corn

6 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons butter
sliver of garlic
sea salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh sage leaves or chopped parsley, for garnish

Scrape corn kernels from cobs, running knife edge along cobs to squeeze out juices. (If the corn is not very fresh, then blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes before scraping kernels from cobs.)

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Drop in butter and melt until foamy. Add corn, garlic and juices. Season with salt and cook until kernels become tender. Pour in milk and simmer until milk is almost gone. Pour in cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.

Spiced Sweet Potato Pudding

3 pounds sweet potatoes
3 eggs
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or to taste
Salt to taste
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
4 tablespoons regular or low-fat sour cream
Creme fraiche for topping, optional

Peel sweet potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick. Cook in water to cover; bring to boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.

In food processor, process the potatoes slightly; add remaining ingredients (except crème fraîche) and process until smooth. (If processor is small, work in batches.)

Place mixture in greased baking dish and refrigerate for 2 or 3 days or freeze for longer.

To serve, bring to room temperature and bake in 350-degree preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Dot with creme fraiche, if desired.

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 pounds moist sweet potatoes, such as ruby or garnet yams (about 6 large potatoes)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 sprigs fresh thyme and/or sage
1 (4-inch) knob peeled fresh ginger, finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream
Kosher salt
2 cups mini marshmallows

Adjust oven rack to center position. Place two large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a work surface. Working with one sheet at a time, place half of potatoes in center. Fold up foil and crimp edges to seal tightly. Repeat on second sheet with rest of potatoes. Transfer pouches to a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Set oven to 300°F. Roast until a thin skewer inserted into the potatoes shows no resistance, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling gently until particles are pale golden brown and smell nutty. Add herb sprigs; herbs may cause brown butter to splatter at first, so take care. Swirl herbs in the brown butter off-heat until frizzled. Set aside.

Peel sweet potatoes and discard skins. Add flesh to large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Strain brown butter into potatoes, discarding frizzled herbs. Beat in ginger, then beat in buttermilk or sour cream. Season to taste with salt.

When ready to finish dish, preheat oven to 375°F. Scrape potatoes into a 2-quart baking or casserole dish, smoothing surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 475°F and top with mini marshmallows. Bake until marshmallows are melted and lightly browned, about 3 minutes (keep an eye on them, as they can brown and then burn very quickly). Serve.

Perfect Turkey Gravy

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups turkey drippings or turkey stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter over medium high heat in medium saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until golden blonde, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in turkey drippings or stock in a steady stream. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until reduced to 3 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week, reheating over medium-low heat before serving.

Perfect Apple Pie (and Several Variations)

4 to 4 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or other baking apples, peeled cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 quarts boiling water (or cider, see note)
10 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling over crust
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch (see note)
1 recipe Easy Double Pie Dough (see related)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Notes:
–For a looser, juicy pie, use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. For a firmer filling that holds its shape more when sliced, use up to 4 tablespoons cornstarch.
–You can use hot cider in place of water to soak the apples. The cider can be saved for drinking.
–For better texture, sous vide apples before baking. Seal apples with their sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, bag ’em up, and cook ’em at around 155° for an hour or so before baking them as usual.

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and place a heavy rimmed baking sheet on it. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place apple slices in a large bowl or pot. Pour boiling water or cider directly over top. Cover and set aside at room temperature for ten minutes. Drain apples well and let sit in a colander in the sink, tossing occasionally until completely dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add 10 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch, and toss until apples are evenly coated. Set mixture aside.

Roll one disk of pie dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Add filling, discarding any excessive juices in the bottom of the bowl. Roll remaining disk of pie dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to top of pie. Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim the edges of both pie crusts until they overhang the edge of the pie plate by 1/2 an inch all the way around. Fold edges of both pie crusts down together, tucking them in between the bottom crust and the pie plate and working your way all the way around the pie plate until everything is well tucked. Use the forefinger on your left hand and the thumb and forefinger on your right hand to crimp the edges. Cut 5 slits in the top with a sharp knife for ventilation.

Use a pastry brush to brush an even coat of lightly beaten egg white all over the top surface of the pie. Sprinkle evenly with a tablespoon of sugar. Transfer pie to sheet tray in the oven and bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Variations:

For skillet apple pie, place prepared apples in a cast iron skillet and cover with one pie crust. Bake just like a regular pie.

If you want to get extra special, try adding a layer of nice nutty aged cheese, like good cheddar, or perhaps some Comté, to the top of the apples. You’d be amazed by how well cheese and apples go together.

Or, turn your skillet pie into a perfectly fine pandowdy by breaking up the crust half way through baking and pushing the edges directly into the filling to soften up a bit as it finishes baking.

Apple crisps and apple crumbles are perhaps the easiest variations to make. Just make your apple filling, then combine 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup old fashioned oats, 3/4 cups chopped or slivered nuts (I like almonds or pecans), 3/4 cup brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 a cup of butter. Work the mixture together with your fingers, spread if over your apple filling, and bake at around 375°F until nicely browned.

If you’ve got a thing for biscuits, then a cobbler is your dessert of choice. All you’ve got to do is make your apple filling, drop it into a deep sided pot (I use my enameled cast iron Dutch oven), drop a few balls of biscuit dough on top, and bake.

Cranberry Apple Slab Pie

2 recipes Easy Double Pie Crusts (see related) shaped in a rectangular block and chilled for at least two hours, ideally overnight
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) rolled oats
1 ounce (about 3 tablespoons) all purpose flour
4 ounces (about 7 tablespoons) light brown sugar
Big pinch of salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 to 12 medium fresh apples (such as golden delicious or Granny Smith), peeled and cored
6 ounces fresh cranberries
8 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Shape the dough: Line a 12- by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with a 12- x 22-inch piece of parchment paper, creasing the paper along the bottom edges and allowing excess paper to hang over the ends of the baking sheet. Lightly flour a rolling pin and your work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle large enough to completely line the bottom and sides of the baking sheet. Press the dough over the parchment and crimp the edges along the walls. Chill the shaped dough on the sheet for one hour.

Make the crumble: In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the cold butter. Use your fingers to rub the dry ingredients into the butter until it is well combined. Chill the crumble at least one hour before using.

Assemble the pie: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Cut the cored and peeled apples in half down the axis (from top to bottom). Place the flat side of the apples down on the cutting board and slice the apples into 1/4-inch thick pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle approximately half the sugar mixture over the bottom the chilled, shaped pie shell. Sprinkle half (approximately 3 ounces) of the fresh cranberries over the bottom, then roughly chop the remaining cranberries, just enough to puncture each one. Pack the apple slices into the shell so they are resting on their flat sides. Toss the chopped cranberries with the sugar, then sprinkle cranberries and the rest of the sugar evenly over the top. Break up the chilled crumble into small pieces and sprinkle over the top.

Bake the pie: Bake the pie at 425°F for 20 minutes, then rotate, cover the filling loosely with foil, and turn the heat down to 375°F. Bake until the filling is bubbling in the center and the crumble and crust are a golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes longer. Allow the pie to cool completely in the pan before serving.

Extra Smooth Pumpkin Pie

1 9-inch Pie Crust

6 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree, or 15 ounces homemade pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position. Place a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack and preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll pie dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim the edges of the pie dough until it overhangs the edge of the pie plate by 1/2 an inch all the way around. Fold edges of pie dough down, tucking it under itself, working your way all the way around the pie plate until everything is well tucked. Use the forefinger on your left hand and the thumb and forefinger on your right hand to crimp the edges. When oven is ready, line chilled pie shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with weights (I reuse dried beans for this), transfer to the preheated baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and liner, turn pie, and bake until the bottom crust is a golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove pie shell from oven and allow to cool completely.

Reduce heat to 350°F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and pulse 3 times to mix. Add the cream cheese and pulse until a homogeneous paste forms. Add the pumpkin and butter and process for 30 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 30 seconds longer. Add the eggs and process until completely smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. For extra-smooth pie, press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or a chinois using the back of a ladle.

Pour the mixture into prepared pie shell and smooth over the top with a rubber spatula. Rap the shell firmly against the counter a few times in order to release any air bubbles. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven and bake for until the filling puffs slightly and the center only moves slightly when jiggled, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pie half way through baking. Allow the pie to cool for at least one hour before serving. It may be chilled for up to two days.

Pumpkin Custard with Ginger Snap Crumble

For the Pumpkin Custard

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 packed teaspoon clementine or orange zest, from about 1 clementine
1 15-ounce can plus 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (see note)
12 ounces evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For Cookie Crumble

2 cups roughly chopped ginger cookie crumbs (about 1 pkg. Anna’s)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Whipped cream for serving, optional

For custard: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, salt, and citrus zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and eggs. Whisk in spice mixture. Whisk in evaporated milk. Pour pumpkin mixture into baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until mixture is just set (it will be slightly jiggly in the center but will firm as it cools), about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Do not turn off the oven.

For cookie crumble: While custard is cooling, mix together cookie crumbs, dark brown sugar, salt, and flour. Add melted butter and mix until well coated. Press into bottom of pie dish and bake until cookies are toasted and fragrant and mixture holds together, 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

To serve: Break up cookie crumble into large shards. Top each serving of custard with crumble and whipped cream, if desired. Store leftover custard in the refrigerator. Keep crumble separately at room temperature in an airtight container.

Skillet Corn Bread

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)/170 grams unsalted butter
1/2 cup/120 ml maple syrup
2 1/4 cups/530 ml buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups/180 grams yellow cornmeal, fine or medium-coarse grind
1/2 cup/65 grams whole wheat flour
1/2 cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons/18 grams baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons/9 grams kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon/5 grams baking soda

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On the stovetop, in a 11- or 12-inch skillet (ovenproof and preferably cast iron), melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan to lightly coat sides and bottom, until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nut brown. (Watch carefully to see that it does not burn.)
Pour brown butter into a large bowl. (Do not wipe out the pan.)

Whisk the maple syrup into the butter, then whisk in buttermilk. The mixture should be cool to the touch; if not, let cool before whisking in the eggs. Then whisk in the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

If the skillet is no longer hot (cast iron retains heat longer than other metals), reheat it briefly on the stove for a few minutes. Scrape batter back into it. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into it emerges clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in the skillet for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cornbread Dressing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
9 cups stale cornbread, crumbled into large chunks
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or rosemary
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Black pepper, as needed
Turkey or chicken stock, optional

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Cook, undisturbed, until the foam subsides and the butter is a deep brown and smells nutty. Transfer immediately to a heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the cornbread, scallions, 3 tablespoons butter, eggs, sage, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. If the mixture looks dry, add a little stock or water.

Spoon the stuffing into a 1 1/2 quart gratin dish. Drizzle the remaining butter over the stuffing. (At this point you can wrap the cornbread well with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake until crisp and browned on top, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

To make the casserole, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes until very tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out flesh and mash until smooth. You should have about 4 cups. Stir in brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, cream, butter, vanilla and salt. Place in a casserole dish.

To make the topping, combine the butter, brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled (about 1 3/4 pounds)
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
Unbaked pie shell, 9 inches

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well.

Mash the potatoes in a bowl. The potatoes should yield about 2¾ cups mashed potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter to hot potatoes, and mash until smooth. Add sugar, nutmeg, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine baking powder with evaporated milk, and stir to blend. Add to mashed potatoes. Whisk mixture until velvety. Mound into pie shell, then spread evenly to edges.

Bake until pie has set and is lightly browned on top, about 55 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.