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Pat’s Pantry: Cranberries and pumpkins

By Pat Mills

There are always cranberry and pumpkin dishes on the table at Thanksgiving. This year, try a pumpkin cake in place of pie, and a cranberry relish in place of cranberry sauce. – Pat

Cranberry relish mold

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
2 packages (3 oz each) cherry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 can (16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
¼ cup chopped celery

In a bowl, combine unflavored gelatin and cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Add cherry gelatin and boiling water; stir until dissolved. Stir in the cranberry sauce, pineapple and celery. Pour into a 6-cup mold coated with nonstick cooking spray. Refrigerate until set. Unmold onto serving plate. Yield: 12 servings.

Pumpkin bars

½ cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts
orange frosting:
3 tablespoon shortening
2-¼ cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening, confectioner’s sugar, orange juice and peel until blended. Frost bars; cut into squares.

Apple butter pumpkin pie

1 cup apple butter
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 in)
whipped cream, optional.

In a large bowl, combine apple butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ginger. Add eggs. Gradually beat in milk until smooth. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set (cover the edges loosely with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning). Cool on a wire rack.  Yield: 8 servings.

Creamy cranberry gelatin

1 cup orange juice
1 package (3 oz) pineapple gelatin
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (16 oz) jellied cranberry sauce

In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil. Place the gelatin in a small bowl; add the orange juice and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add cranberry sauce; beat until smooth. Beat in gelatin mixture. Pour into six half-cup gelatin molds coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Unmold onto serving plates. Yield: 6 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• By adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the cranberries when cooking, you will use less sweetener.
• A good cranberry will bounce. Buy berries that are hard, bright, light to dark red sealed in plastic bags. They’ll keep refrigerated for a month; frozen, they will keep up to one year.

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