No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

Be forewarned: the recipe for no-bake pumpkin custard contains tofu. If tofu is not your jam, please feel free to pretend this post never happened, and I will share something more up the alley of a reasonable person like yourself later this week.

If tofu is your jam, however, then you are in luck. In all of 10 minutes, you can whip yourself up a quick pumpkin dessert. That said, I think the dessert is better when it has a few hours to thicken and chill in the refrigerator before serving, but to each her own.

As you have likely assumed, I am very much in the “tofu is my jam” camp. Meat is not a staple in my diet, so I rely on dishes like spicy peanut tofu on the nights I actually make dinner instead of eating a bowl of popcorn.

No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

The beauty of tofu is it up picks up flavors of what it is cooked along. When blended with pumpkin and spices, you taste little more than pumpkin and spices. Without the ingredient list, I imagine anyone would be hard-pressed to identify tofu as the ingredient that provides this custard its creaminess.

On the flip side, because tofu picks up the flavors of its accompanying ingredients and pumpkin puree alone has little flavor, the custard can run somewhat bland. Be sure to taste and adjust the spices to your preference after blending.

For more about tofu, Serious Eats has a nice guide to tofu that explains everything from the different types of tofu, how to work with it in the kitchen, and recipe ideas. Enjoy!

No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

No-Bake Pumpkin Custard
Serves: 4 servings
  • 24 ounces silken tofu
  • 1, 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, like honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • optional garnishes: hazelnuts and crystallized ginger
  1. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and process until smooth and fully incorporated.
  2. Taste and adjust the spice as desired.
  3. Serve right away or allow to chill for a few hours in the refrigerator (my preference) before serving.
Please be sure to purchase silken tofu (sometimes labeled soft tofu) as it is softer and creamier than firm tofu. The TOFU I purchased came in a 16 ounce package, so keep in mind you will likely need to purchase more than one package for this recipe.

A key to successful tofu anything is to drain it well. Gently press the block of tofu between paper towels to squeeze out the excess water before placing it in the food processor.

You can easily substitute 1¼ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger substitution.

You can also substitute other pureed squash, like butternut or acorn, for the pumpkin puree. You will need around 1½ cups to substitute for the 15-ounce can of pumpkin called for here.
No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

 Loading InLinkz ...

Sweet Potato Rolls with Dried Cranberries

Sweet Potato Rolls

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” ― Erma Bombeck

Ha ha, Erma! Ha ha!

Anyone who glances at the recipe below may think these sweet potato rolls also take 18 hours to prepare, but I assure you, they do not. The homemade rolls only take 3 1/2 hours. A football game takes 3 1/2 hours. Coincidence?

Not to worry, the majority of the time involved is inactive time while the yeast works its magic on the dough. The way I see it, all of that downtime gives you plenty of opportunity to whip up a few other recipes perfect for Thanksgiving. And I know just where you can find them.


I have written many times that I keep up with this goofy hobby only because I enjoy being a part of the food blogging community. I have made friends I image I never would have met if it were not for our shared interests (any hobbyist can probably attest to that).

Today, I am thankful to celebrate the second annual Blogsgiving Dinner with two food bloggers I have had the good fortune to meet and call friends: Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West. Our hostesses have organized a virtual dinner with more than 60 blogs sharing recipes this week. That is a lot of good food!

Blogsgiving Dinner is based on an old-fashioned potluck dinner party. Last year, we covered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and soup on Day 1. On Day 2, we shared entrees, salads and sides. Desserts, after-dinner drinks, and ideas for leftovers received their proper billing on Day 3.

Sweet Potato Rolls

This year, each blogger is bringing one or more dishes to the party, so be sure to stop by and get some ideas for your Thanksgiving meal. The entire menu is available in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up, and you can search the hashtag #blogsgivingdinner to view the recipes via social media.

Three days in to Blogsgiving Dinner 2015, I have bookmarked enough recipes for approximately three Thanksgiving feasts. Whether you are looking for a twist on a traditional recipe or something new to bring to the table, I think you will find something you like.

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and delicious food. I wish you the best one yet. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Rolls with Dried Cranberries
Serves: 18 rolls
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Place the sweet potato cubes in a large saucepan and cover with water (this is tricky because they like to float, so use your best judgement).
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes over a bowl and RESERVE ½ cup of the cooking water.
  4. When the cooking water has cooled to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  5. Stir in the yeast, brown sugar, and ¼ cup of the all purpose flour and allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  6. While the yeast proofs, melt ⅓ cup of the butter and combine it with the drained sweet potatoes, honey, egg, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  7. After the 10 minutes the yeast needs to do its thing, it should look frothy. Add the sweet potato puree from the food processor along with 1½ cups of the whole wheat flour and the dried cranberries to the yeast mixture in the mixing bowl.
  8. Beat at low speed until the flour is incorporated and a soft dough forms, adding additional whole wheat flour if the dough is too moist to come together.
  9. Stop the mixer to swap out the beater or paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead on medium speed for two minutes, then up the speed to high and knead for an additional three to four minutes. You are looking for the dough to form a soft, springy ball, so if you need more time or flour, add it. You can also knead the dough by hand if you do not have a mixer with a dough hook.
  10. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter and place the nice dough ball you have into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to one hour. The dough should double in bulk after this time.
  11. Punch down the puffed-up dough, divide it into 18 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.
  12. Melt the remaining butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat.
  13. Remove the skillet from the heat, roll each dough ball in the butter to coat, then arrange the dough balls in the skillet. It will be a tight fit, so don't be afraid to really squeeze them in.
  14. Cover the skillet with the plastic wrap or clean towel and allow the dough to rise again, this time for 30 minutes. Again, the dough should double in bulk.
  15. Finally, it is time to bake. Pop the cast iron skillet into an oven heated to 375 degrees F and allow the rolls to bake for 30-35 minutes until browned.
  16. Allow to cool for five minutes and serve warm.
I used two large sweet potatoes to equal the ¾ pounds called for in this recipe.

If you are unfamiliar with baking with yeast, please note is important to cool the cooking water until it is warm but not hot. If it is uncomfortable for you to dip your finger into the water, then it will be uncomfortable for the yeast too. Water that is too hot will kill the little beauties, and then no rolls will grace your table.

For indulgent rolls, add ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon to the dough.

The rolls can be baked up to eight hours in advance and kept uncovered at room temperature. Reheat in a 300 degree F oven for five minutes before serving.

No cast iron skillet? No problem. Simply bake the rolls in a baking dish.

Sweet Potato Rolls

Butternut Squash Soup with Mole & Peppers

Butternut Mole Soup

“Things taste better in small houses.” – Queen Victoria

Her words must have struck a chord with me, because I found the quote scrawled across the back of this recipe. I do not remember when or why I wrote it down.

Maybe because I live in a small apartment, and I wanted to remind myself to remind anyone I cook for of their great luck. “Things taste better in small houses!”

Maybe I liked the idea that it evokes a feeling of comfort. I imagine a small cozy house with a fire in the hearth, a meal on the table, and no cares in the world for the evening. The image fits with my notion that dark and chilly November marks the beginning of comfort food season.

Butternut Mole Soup

November also marks the start of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash. Two years ago, I invited myself to join a group of bloggers who posted a winter squash recipe once a week from November through January. I found myself looking forward to my weekly winter squash post at this time last year, and this November was no different.

Our group this year is not as large as it once was. In fact, I may post recipes alone for the next few weeks. This made me wonder if I should post at all. When I am about to do something I do not know if I should do – like hijack the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash group – I always ask myself to image the worst case scenario.

If I move to this city, what is the worst that can happen? I will feel lonely.

If I get this tattoo, what is the worst that can happen? I will look ridiculous if I live to be an old lady, and Mom will never speak to me again. (That is probably overly dramatic. She will probably just not speak to me for a week).

If I post 12 winter squash recipes by myself, what is the worst that can happen? I will post 12 winter squash recipes. On to the soup.

Butternut Mole Soup

The mole sauce (as in [moh-ley] sauce, not [mohl] sauce) gives this soup a special appeal. Dubbed “the curry of Mexico” by The Kitchn, every mole sauce is a bit different. There is no standard recipe for the sauce, and it is not unusual for mole to include upwards of 20 ingredients.

What I am getting at here is you are probably going to need to buy a mole paste or sauce, and it probably won’t be easy to find. I looked in a couple of places before I found a bottle of mole sauce tucked away on a bottom shelf at my Whole Foods store. Keep an eye out for it if you would like to make this soup.

Then enjoy it in a small house for optimal taste. Enjoy!

Butternut Mole Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Mole and Peppers
Serves: 2 servings
  • 4 cups of diced butternut squash (about one medium squash)
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil of choice (canola, olive, etc.)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion (about one small onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons mole paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, plain yogurt, scallions
  1. Toss the diced butternut squash with a bit of the oil and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Roast the squash in an oven heated to 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until soft.
  3. When the squash is cool enough to work with, transfer it to a bowl and use a fork to mash it until more or less smooth. You should have about 1 cup of squash.
  4. In a medium-size saucepan, heat a bit more of the oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about three minutes.
  6. Next add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
  7. Add the vegetable stock, peppers, mole paste, coriander, cumin, and mashed squash and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the peppers are tender, about seven minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then garnish as desired before serving.
I could not find mole paste, so I substituted mole sauce. Since paste is more concentrated than sauce, I added more than 1½ tablespoons of mole sauce until satisfied with its taste.

Note that this is a small batch soup that makes only two servings. Be sure to double the recipe if you need to feed more than two.
If you are a blogger who would like to post along with the winter squash group, please join us on Facebook. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 Loading InLinkz ...