5 Recipes to Help Ring in the Fall

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5 Recipes to Help Ring in the Fall

Cassie Damewood · Oct 9, 2018

close-up shot of a pear tart on a table

It’s no wonder fall is so many people’s favorite season. The temperatures are mild and just chilly enough to remind us that winter is ahead, the leaves change into vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange, and every now and then you get a whiff of oak burning in someone’s fireplace. It’s also the season when hearty fruits like pears and apples are at their ripest, well-known peach varieties are making their last hurrah, and pumpkins seem to be popping up all around. 

Ring in the fall the right way by trying your hand at one of these festive recipes.

Pear Tart with Blue Cheese Streusel

If possible, use creamy blue cheese instead of the pre-crumbled type. It makes for a much richer tart.

Pastry Dough:

1 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter

3½ tablespoons ice water

To form the crust, process/mix the butter and ice water together. Add all flour in at once and process/mix until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Streusel:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup finely-chopped blanched almonds

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Filling:

1½ pounds pears (about 4 medium-sized pears), peeled, cored, and cut in ½-inch slices lengthwise.

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Topping:

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll pastry dough into a 13-inch circle, transfer it onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes.
  • Make the streusel.
  • Combine flour, brown sugar, and almonds in a medium bowl, using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers to cut in blue cheese until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Set this aside when finished.
  • Make the filling. Combine the pears, lemon juice, blue cheese, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Toss to combine and set aside for later.
  • Sprinkle the prepared dough with two-thirds of the streusel mixture, leaving a two-inch wide border around the edge.
  • Top that with the pear filling, followed by the remaining streusel.
  • Fold the two-inch border over the top of the streusel and sprinkle the folded crust with the remaining one teaspoon of brown sugar.
  • Bake until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown (about 45-50 minutes).
  • Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup

This soup is ideal as both a first course for a formal meal and a main course when served with warm corn muffins and a lightly dressed mixed greens salad. You’ll need:

3 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

1 cup whipping cream

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Bring the chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy medium pot.
  • Whisk in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander, and nutmeg.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend (about 15 minutes).
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle soup into bowls.
  • Garnish each serving with cheddar cheese and cilantro and serve.
  • This soup can be prepared up to one day ahead of time. Just let it cool, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. Rewarm over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally along the way.

Roasted Bone-In Leg of Lamb

Nothing beats the smell of roasting lamb and herbs wafting through your home. Just be careful not to overcook the lamb, as overcooking will dry it out and kill the delicate flavor of the meat. For medium to medium-rare lamb, the meat’s internal temperature (as gauged by an instant read thermometer) should be between 120 and 145°F degrees at the thickest part of the leg. A five-pound leg of lamb serves between six and eight people, while a six to seven-pound leg serves around 10 to 12.

Unlike other meats, lamb can be successfully carved from any angle without compromising the tenderness of the flesh. In other words, the meat is so young and tender that cutting with the grain has no adverse effect on it. Lamb is traditionally served in very thin slices rather than hefty chunks.

Get your hands on the following ingredients to get started:

One 5 to 7-1/2-pound bone-in leg of lamb

Marinade:

4 to 8 cloves of garlic (depending on personal taste), finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh, roughly-chopped rosemary

2 teaspoons fresh, coarsely-ground black pepper

2 to 3 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, depending on the size of the leg

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Whisk together marinade ingredients and set it aside for later.
  • Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 475°F.
  • Trim the excess fat from the leg of lamb, leaving a very thin layer intact to keep in moisture and seal in juices as the lamb roasts.
  • Rub the marinade all over the leg, place it into an airtight container, and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight, removing it several hours before starting the roasting process.
  • Position the leg of lamb in the center of a shallow roasting pan that’s large enough to comfortably hold it.
  • Pour any marinade left in the container over the meat.
  • Place the pan into the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to 350°F degrees and cook for another hour.
  • After an hour has passed, check the meat’s internal temperature and remove it from the oven when cooked to your level of preference.
  • Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing it into thin pieces for serving.
  • While the lamb rests, pour the accumulated fat into a saucepan and place it over medium heat on top of the stove.
  • Add in two cups of chicken stock (or chicken stock mixed with an equal amount of white wine) and boil until slightly thickened, scraping up solids from the bottom of the pan.
  • Season this sauce with salt and pepper and serve it alongside the lamb.

Apple Bacon Jam

This luscious fall favorite is perfect on corn muffins, toast, biscuits, and as a decadent topping for roasted sweet potatoes. Make it using the following:

7 ounces smoked bacon

1/4 large onion, or 1/2 small onion

1 clove garlic

2 ounces apple

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon molasses

  • Slice the bacon and fry it in a small/medium skillet over a medium-high heat until the fat starts to render, stirring regularly as it does (around 10 minutes).
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic, peel and finely dice the apple, and add it all into the pan.
  • Cook, stirring regularly until the onions have softened and gone translucent and the bacon is crisping (another 10 minutes).
  • Add the cinnamon, water, brandy, sugar, and molasses, and stir it in well.
  • Once everything boils, reduce the heat a simmer and allow the mixture to cook for around 20 to 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally until it’s nice and sticky.
  • Remove the bacon-apple mixture from the pan, draining off the excess fat into a sealable jar or similar container as you do so.
  • Allow it to cool and store in the fridge until needed.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lazy Day Peach Cobbler

A peach cobbler in a cooking tray

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup milk

2 cups peaches, fresh, frozen, or canned, drained or not (undrained makes it really juicy, though)

1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Melt the butter in a deep casserole dish.
  • Mix the next five ingredients together well and pour the mixture on top of the butter. Do not stir.
  • Pour the fruit on top of batter. Do not stir.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the crust looks golden brown and center has set.

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