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Culinary Content: Autumn Desserts, Quince to Sugar Plums

Updated on November 30, 2007
Habeas Brulee
Habeas Brulee

Culinary Content is a regular feature in my column here at Hubpages where I share the delicious recipes and food related articles I have come across in my travels online. This time, I have another set of autumn desserts for you: Cranberry Quince Sorbet, Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie, and Sugar Plums. (The previous article on autumn desserts can be found here).

I must admit that when I think of Autumn desserts, sorbet most definitely does not jump to mind. However, this Cranberry Quince Sorbet from Habeas Brulee is a beautiful capture of autumn flavors in a not-so-traditional-for-autumn dessert. And because it's a sorbet, it's also vegan! Her description of quince made me want to try one posthaste: "Quinces are like apples' upscale cousins - tarter, rosier, more gussied up and elegant. While the apple is available right here, right now, the quince must be cooked for a long time until its pale flesh turns a ruddy hue and its lush sweetness is fully evoked. The apple wants you without hesitation, but the quince must be seduced."

In the same vein, how about some Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Profiteroles (cream puffs) from Supper in Stereo? "The result is a smooth, cool base warmed up by cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, with a bit of extra texture from the pumpkin. The candied ginger is optional, but I like the chewy zing that it offers. ... This ice cream popped into a cream puff (profiterole) takes the whole thing over the top." That recipe makes me want to pull out my ice cream maker despite the cold weather.

This recipe for Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie from Smitten Kitchen is quite simple, with only one ingredient that really represents autumn, yet the overall effect definitely evokes holiday dinners. She says, "It is that Thing, that recipe you've been searching for to bring to Thanksgiving this year, something so fall flavored, people won't realize they're breaking with tradition to eat it, but so innovative, you'll get a break from the predictable."

This is kind of embarrassing. My only exposure to sugar plums has been fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and in my childhood imagination they were simply plums with sugar sprinkled on them. As an adult, I finally realized that this was not the case--sugar plums are a confection you can make. I still haven't had them, but perhaps this holiday season that will change thanks to the sugar plum recipe from Use Real Butter. She says: "They are quite easy to make and tend to be a huge hit with people who either don't care for chocolate or just enjoy the autumny spices and dried fruits. It's a heady aroma that wafts through your house when you make a batch: orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, toasted almonds, honey."

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