Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Pumpkin Tart

DSC_7006In only two days,Thanksgiving is here. Our family plan of having Thanksgiving Day meal at Higgins did not materialize due to slow acting on my part - every table was booked by the time I called. I spent a hectic last three weeks, I didn’t have much of time to think about plan B –cooking at home menus. No matter what, I have to secure the bird first. I went to Whole Foods today to check out if my criteria of turkey are left – fresh, free range, organic, no chemical added and light weight, 9 pounds or less.DSC_6952

I was back and forth between the butcher and refrigerator section searching for the turkey. Most were too big for our family, too pricey, or so fresh that I could see blood. The Heritage turkey met most of the things on my check list. The bird is a little over 9 pounds but probably it is just water weight.

Now that I’m good with the bird, the next agenda is dessert-something fabulous. I made this for a test run. I had all the ingredients except can of orange. I substituted with canned peaches but it was a bad move. The peach overwhelmed the pumpkin flavor and didn’t set hard. I made a few mistakes on the crust but tasted good so I can use that for pumpkin pie. I guess I’m going to make fabulously humble pumpkin tartish pie! Then with all the left over egg white, I should make French macarons next!DSC_6937It’s hard to see but it says gratitude.

Making tart shell

Necessary equipment – food scale, 8 inch tart pan

  • Weak power flour 292g Chilled in refrigerator
  • Granulated sugar 80g Chilled in refrigerator
  • Salt 4g
  • Butter 187g Cut in small cubes and put in refrigerator.
  • Egg yolk 53g (about 3 eggs) plus 1 egg yolk for brushing the tart shell.
  • Water 7g
  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt together in advance. Put flour mixture in large bowl, add butter.
  2. With pastry cutter, incorporate the butter to make a resemblance of corn meal. Do this as quickly as possible so that butter won’t melt and the end result will be a flaky, cookie like crust.
  3. Mix egg and water in a small bowl. Add this to flour/butter mixture.
  4. With spatula quickly incorporate flour and egg mixture while rotating bowl.DSC_6921
  5. Gather the flour to make ball with your hand – your warm hands will melt the butter so do this fast.
  6. Place the ball on some plastic wrap and push down to form a disk. Wrap tightly and chill for 3 hours or more in refrigerator-overnight is desirable.DSC_6926

Shaping and baking of tart

Necessary equipment – rolling pin, pie weight, heavy aluminum foil

  1. Sprinkle small amount of flour on a clean, flat surface. Put well chilled dough on and pound with flat side of mallet or wooden rolling pin to half inch thick.
  2. Roll out dough with rolling pin until the it reaches 1/4 inch thick. To keep the dough from sticking, run a thin spatula underneath it every so often.
  3. Put tart pan in the center of rolled out dough. Cut all round including the height of tart pan.
  4. Lay the round dough over the tart pan. Press into edges and side of pan.
  5. Flatten the top with flat side of knife.
  6. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 320 F
  8. Put foil over the tart shell then put in the pie weights (I used black beans).
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove pie weight along with foil 30 minutes in.
  10. When the tart shell turns golden brown, remove from oven and cool on the cooling rack.
  11. Preheat oven to 284F.
  12. When the shell is cooled, brush inside shell with beaten egg yolk – this prevents a soggy bottom.
  13. Bake shell for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin flan filling

  • Heavy cream 80g

  • Milk 40g
  • Egg yolk 45g (about 3 eggs)
  • Sugar 45g
  • Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Pumpkin puree 120g
  1. In a microwave proof bowl (a 2 cup glass measuring cup is good for this), mix heavy cream and milk. Microwave for 30 second to warm it up (do not boil). Stir and set it aside.
  2. Mix egg yolk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and flour in a medium bowl without whipping.
  3. Pour cream mixture a little at a time into the egg mixture and combine well each time.
  4. Add 1/2 of pumpkin puree into the cream/egg mixture and stir well. Do the same for rest of pumpkin puree. Strain the mixture through sieve.DSC_6980
  5. Preheat oven to 280 F. Pour the pumpkin mixture in the prepared tart shell. Place it on top of the rimmed cookie sheet, this will prevent spillage in the oven.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check for doneness after 40 minutes- the center will still jiggle a little when you shake the cooking sheet. Cool on a wire rack.DSC_7007

I made Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites from the leftover pumpkin puree.

  Cucumber roll

  1. Slice cucumber with peeler to make long strips.
  2. Shape sushi rice with round biscuit cutter.
  3. Roll lower sushi cylinder with one strip of cucumber slice. Make slits with knife so that you can interlock the strip. Put another on top if needed to form the cup to hold the topping. Now the cucumber cups are ready for your favorite foods - tuna, poke mahi-mahi, salmon eggs. I used tuna mixed with soy sauce and wasabi then topped with green onions.

DSC_6909Salmon roe with avocado and lemon

I attended a free demo holiday cooking classes at Decorette shop in Tigard. The photo below is from the cupcake decoration class-cute, right?DSCN1210DSCN1209Chocolate truffle demonstration.DSCN1213DSCN1212

My husband and I were invited for friend’s surprise party organized by her boyfriend. Lucky girl!DSCN1196DSCN1199DSCN1207DSCN1173DSCN1200

Our cul-de-sac was flooded Monday, turned into a small pond. We appreciated City’s maintenance crew for long hours pumping water in the darkness.   DSCN1248

I see an abundance of foods prepared at this particular time. I feel blessed and grateful. I also feel guilty for having so much and plenty was wasted in the end. I can’t bring myself to volunteer at a shelter or wherever needed, I wrote a check for local food bank and am praying that my small donation will help even just one person today. 

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.DSC_6935
The word is charity.

P.S. to KG and others may want to know the conclusion of Smap concert story – It was a spectacular show! I survived (and participated) in the deafeningly loud screaming sound entire time. Although the way back to friend’s home I was staying took awfully long time, I was in such a good mood. The kind friend and her husband stayed awake for my return. Even we’re all same age, for a moment, I felt like they were my parents and waiting for their teenage daughter to come home. I felt so warm.


  1. キュウリのロールはなんて可愛らしいのでしょう!


    1. コメントありがとう!楽しい感謝祭を過ごされましたか?いつか、お会いしたいです。

  2. わたしも きゅうりのロールが とてもおしゃれと思いました。良いアイデアをありがとう! くみちゃんとBF楽しそうです。私にまでうれしいvibesが伝わってきました!

    1. ありがとうございます。いろんなトッピングで楽しめるきゅうりロールを作ったら、教えてくださいね、これが良かったよって。

  3. Belated happy Thanksgiving! You sure made a lot of food! :D We don't celebrate this festival in Australia which is such a shame...

    1. Thank you Jenny. Why not visit us next year? We love to have you for Thanksgiving dinner-90% carbohydrate!

  4. 私もきゅうりのロールに一票!なんちゃって。こうやって作るの覚えておかないと~。次回の手巻きパーティーが楽しみ!