Monday, October 12, 2009

Whole Wheat Cream Cheese Snails go Pumpkin

How I love fall. Of course I love spring and summer too, being a locavore in Rhode Island where each crop has such a short, sweet time in the spotlight. I remember bringing home the first asparagus and fiddleheads of the year, feeling as if reunited with a long lost love. All the money in the world can't buy Rhode-Island-grown asparagus for all but a few weeks each year.

At least we'll have pumpkins for a good while longer.

This recipe I adapted from a post on The Fresh Loaf. I just substituted 7 oz soft white wheat and 7 oz hard white wheat for the 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and added pumpkin to the filling. Last night I mixed and proofed the dough, put it in the refrigerator and roasted a little sugar pumpkin.

Step 1: Roast pumpkin.
1 sugar pumpkin, skin on, cut up and cleaned
1 Tablespoon butter
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

Rub the butter and olive oil all over the cut up pumpkin slices. I put mine in the oven at 425F, but after 30 minutes it was starting to burn on top, so I would use a lower temperature next time. The burning might also have been a result of an interruption in the baking that may have allowed the tops to dry too much. Next time I'd put it in at 375F for as long as it takes to get soft - I'm guessing about 45 minutes. After peeling the skin off, I squeezed the chunks of pumpkin into a ziploc container, pushing most of the liquid out, and left it in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 2: Puree pumpkin with cream cheese and flavors.
6 oz. roasted pumpkin chunks, squeezed of excess water (about 3/4 cup)
6 oz. cream cheese
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar or Rapadura
1 Tablespoon brown sugar or Muscovado
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine everything in a food processor and puree until smooth. This pumpkin cream cheese would be awesome on bagels or toast, or - I confess - straight off the spoon. In this case, I put it in the middle of the pain-au-lait snails. I took out half of the dough, cut it into eight strips, coiled them into circles, brushed them with egg wash, made wells in the middles, and put a dollop of pumpkin cream cheese in each one. After baking them at 400F for 14 minutes, I sprayed them with a sugar glaze (2 T water, 2 T sugar and a few drops of vanilla). I put the sugar glaze in my Misto, as my one basting brush had already been messied by the egg wash and I wasn't about to reuse it on freshly baked pastry. One negative effect of the Misto was a sticky film of sugar on the kitchen floor afterwards.

Constructing the snails was a bit messy because the dough was so soft and sticky, but soft sticky dough makes for tender whole wheat pastries. Whenever the dough strips break, it's easy to pat them back together again and it always looks (and tastes!) fine in the end. The dough recipe on The Fresh Loaf plus the pumpkin cream cheese recipe above will make enough for 16 snails. These were totally awesome and well worth the effort.


Elizabeth said...

I stumbled across your blog while searching "sprouted brown rice," and just wanted to say how much I like it! I can't wait to leave work and peruse your posts! Cheers, Elizabeth.

Amy said...

this looks absolutely delicious! i have a small pumpkin i was going to cook, and i think this may be the way to go. they'll be great to take to thanksgiving dinner.

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