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Archive for the ‘Desert’ Category

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

When I moved to the US, it was October and it was the harvest time.  I was amazed by the different kinds of winter squash in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Out of those countless different shapes and colors, pumpkin is the most ( and probably only) familiar one to me.  Even though we have pumpkin in Turkey, its use is pretty limited.  Most households would only cook Pumpkin in Syrup, and roast the seeds as snack.  So it was the only pumpkin recipe I knew until recently.  After moving in to California, I started to experiment with pumpkin and other winter squashes, and tried different recipes, and realized that I really like the nutty creamy flavor of this vegetable.

So when our friends invited over us for The Thanksgiving dinner, I volunteered to make the desert.  Since Thanksgiving is an harvest celebration, pumpkin was a good fit for the menu, and most people would cook Pumpkin Pie.  But I wanted to make something different, so I baked a Pumpkin Cheesecake. 🙂

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Keşkül, a traditional Ottoman Desert

When I was a child, there were no malls or giant shopping centers to hang around as a kid or a teenager, so only places we were allowed to hang around with friends were Pastanes, literally “house of sweets”.  Apart from traditional desert sellers who used to sell baklava and related deserts, Pastanes were filled with layered cakes, custards, rice puddings, profiteroles and variety of ice creams. Different colors of creamy desserts  used to line up behind the glass door of the cooler. As a child I used to indulge myself in soup anglaise ( a cholocate custard with little cake pieces in it) and I never understood why some people would prefer to eat something without chocolate. 😛

Later, as I grew old I became an almond addict. I became obsessed  everything with almonds, from marzipan to roasted almonds, from amaretto to almond butter. And a friend of mine asked me if I like keşkül. I remember giving him a blank look: “I never really tried it, isn’t it just a plain custard with egg yolks?” My friend told me me that it is a pudding made with grounded almonds! Thus, my search for the perfect keşkül started. (more…)

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