I love Halloween with the same fervor that loud, obtrusive Bubbes love to kvetch. Which is to say, quite a bit. Normally I don’t come up with a costume idea until the day of because, like the genius of Bowie and Freddie, my ingenuity tends to shine while under pressure. Take these three last-minute costumes I donned on All Hallow’s Eve past:
- The original woman of power, Oprah.
- MC Hammer. Complete with gold lamé-lined jacket and homemade hammer pants.
- Sarah Jessica parker
SOMEHOW the Sarah Jessica Parker getup was more immediately recognizable than Hammer. I mostly blame this new generation’s severe deficiency of the Funky Headhunter, because that Hammer costume was 2 Legit 2 Quit.
My other favorite thing to do during Halloween when I’m not gender bending, making terrible puns, or sporting deceptively comfortable hammer pants, is to work the kitchen like a Heidi Klum and Ina Garten hybrid.
When it’s October in Florida and you’re beset with pumpkins and kitchen fever, you really have no other choice than to put on your smartest looking spectacles, lay out your equipment, and get to experimenting. I also like to throw my hands up and laugh maniacally while I mix shit together, which is usually a sign that I’ve been drinking.
The typical choice for using up pumpkins is the ever-doted pumpkin pie, which leaves me feeling as though the pumpkin was given an unfair role, condemned to mediocrity. Like the congregations of Girl Scouts that darken the doorway of every grocery store in the country demanding payment for their overpriced crack treats, I can never evade the inevitable barrage of pumpkin pie fever that comes around this time each year. Also unlike Girl Scouts, pumpkin pies don’t cry when evaded or given the middle finger (also a sign that I’ve been drinking).
I have never been one for pumpkin pie given the varied choice of other pie options, and really, I’ve always had an aversion to pies in general. My proclivity to sweets has never included the crust-encapsulated desserts the majority of the nation seems to enjoy. While I maintain a certain adoration for meaty, stew-filled pot pies in all forms, sugary sweets and savory, flaky crusts as a couple have never appealed to me. Much like the inexplicable partnership of Oprah and Stedman, the world has just come to accept this strange twosome, and it feels wrong.
The obvious fix is to remove the crust, but then we’re left with puddings, custards and cobblers; nothing evolutionary. Generally when I want to make a pie I resort to a cookie crumble crust because, unlike phyllo and standard crusts, cookie crumble crusts don’t taste like sadness and broken dreams.
Instead I made a soup. A pumpkin pie soup! That’s a natural progression, right? To go from pie to soup? In any case, as weird as it sounds, this soup was totally the jam. Comprised of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, fresh pumpkin puree, allspice and white chocolate, how could it be anything other than THE JAM?
This soup is incredibly thick, rich and heady, and is best served hot, which is a stark contrast to the traditionally cooled pumpkin pie. And for those missing the crusty component of your precious pie, the soup is also served with an allspice cream-filled puff pastry breadstick. Topped with a dollop of cream, you’re ready to dip your spoon into this sticky vat of ethereal sweetness and prepare yourself for a soupy ride you’re not likely to forget anytime this season.
Now that Halloween is fast approaching, what seasonal treats are you preparing? And more importantly, what am I going to be for Halloween!?
PUMPKIN PIE SOUP
[print_this]Recipe: White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Soup
Summary: Very sweet white chocolate based pumpkin soup to impress your family (even your creepy, picky Uncle Pickle) come Thanksgiving. A slight deviation from the tried-and-true fall favorite.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 oz good quality white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp flour (or 2 tbsp corn starch)
- 2 tbsp butter (omit if using corn starch)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium until just melted and add the flour, stirring for one minute or until a blond roux is formed. Make sure to not darken the roux, otherwise the soup will have an off, burnt taste. Skip this step if using corn starch as a thickening agent.
- Mix together the milk, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk and slowly pour into the saucepan with the roux, stirring constantly and vigorously to ensure the roux does not clump.
- Add pumpkin puree and turn the heat up to medium high, stirring constantly until the mixture just comes to a boil.
- Immediately turn the heat down to low and add the chopped white chocolate, stirring well with a wooden spoon or whisk until the white chocolate is fully incorporated. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
- Remove from heat and immediately serve. Top with whipped cream, sweetened puff pastry croutons, or any other topping you prefer.