Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe Time!

I love going back to the old standby of the Hellenic Cookbook from the Greek Orthodox church in Detroit for its culinary gems.  I missed posting something for the Autumn Equinox and there is still a month before Halloween/Samhain, but I thought I would share this tasty sounding recipe for Greek Pumpkin Pie as a offering of the Autumn season. 

It is written, like all the recipes in this collection, with the imprecision of all good Greek household recipes. I have transcribed it directly from the book without any changes to language or ingredients.  I think there are some substitutions that could be made.  For instance, it explains how to prepare the pumpkin but I think the modern Greek cook could replace that part with canned pumpkin puree.  And you certainly can't beat any dessert that uses a pound of butter. 

1 lb pastry sheets
1 lb butter (melted)
1 medium sized pumpkin
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup white raisins

Cut and prepare pumpkin, removing seeds.  Proceed to cut into 1 inch cubes.  Using medium disc, pass pumpkin cubes through food chopper.  Place ground pumpkin in cheese cloth and sprinkle with salt.  Let stand overnight to remove moisture.  Using only 8 cups of strained pumpkin, place in kettle adding olive oil and one cup of butter. Simmer for one our, stirring to prevent scorching.  During last five minutes, add sugar and raisins.  Remove from heat and add one cup walnuts.  Set mixture aside to cool.  Brush bottom of pan 14x20" with melted butter and line with pastry sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with walnuts.  Repeat this process until 1/2 lb of pastry sheets are used.  Pour pumpkin mixture in center and cover with remainder of pastry sheets; brushing each sheet with butter and sprinkling with walnuts.  Top with six individually buttered pastry sheets.  Trip and cut into 2" diamond pieces.  Pour remaining butter over pastry and bake at 375 degrees for one hour.

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup honey

While pastry is baking, boil sugar and water until a clear thin syrup is formed.  Stir in honey and remove from heat.  Cool.  Spoon cool syrup over hot pastry. 

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