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  • Writer's pictureOdett Terrazas

Cookbook Corner: Fall Recipes to Celebrate the Season

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Fall is here, and with it comes a whole array of delicious seasonal ingredients. It's the perfect time to cozy up and enjoy comforting meals that capture the essence of autumn. In this collection of recipes, we'll explore dishes that make the most of fall flavors.

For more cooking fun for the season, from regional to international, be sure to check out the Cookbook section of our bookstore in the lobby of the downtown Boca Raton Public Library.


Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Pastry Crust


Pie Crust:

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

½ cup pecans (see Cook’s Note page 64) toasted, then finely ground

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ cup (1 stick) ice cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

½ cup ice cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

⅓ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons ice water


3 ½ cups or 2 cans (15oz each) unsweetened pumpkin puree

7 large eggs, lightly beaten

⅔ cup unsulphured molasses

⅓ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups sour cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons milk

Sugar for sprinkling


1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


  1. To make the crust, combine the 2 ¼ cups flour, the pecans, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Scatter the butter and shortening pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

  2. Add the sour cream and water and process for a few seconds, just until a ball of dough begins to form. Do not over process.

  3. To make the dough by hand, place the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture. Add the sour cream and ice water, and mix just until the dough comes together and forms a mass.

  4. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, gathering all the loose bits, and form into a disk about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

  5. Have two 9 inch pies ready. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 piece of the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Dust the work surface and dough with a little more flour, as necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the dough around the rolling pin, lift over the pie pan, and unroll the dough over the pan. Adjust, and press into place. Trim the excess by running a knife around the edges. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Refrigerate the pie crusts while you make the decorative edge pieces.

  6. Use a 1 ¼ inch decorative cookie cutter, such as a leaf, daisy, or star shape, to make cut outs from the dough trimmings. You should have about 30-35 dough shapes per pie. Place in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet and refrigerate.

  7. To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, molasses, granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth.

  8. Blend in the sour cream and heavy cream. Whisk until smooth and no white streaks are visible. Set aside.

  9. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

  10. To assemble the pies, divide the pumpkin filling between the chilled pie shells. USe a pastry brush to brush milk on the edges of the pastry. Overlap the decorative cut outs around the edge of the pastry, pressing gently. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

  11. Bake for about 40 minutes until the filling just begins to puff at the edges and the center no longer jiggles when gently shaken. Turn off the oven and leave the pies, undisturbed, in the oven with the door ajar, for 20 minutes.

  12. Transfer the pies to wire racks and let cool completely. Meanwhile, make the topping: in a medium bowl, combine the cream, confectioner’s sugar, and rum. Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  13. Top with whipped cream and serve.


Pumpkin oatmeal nut loaf with orange lemon butter



1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt

¼ cup old fashioned oats

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted

One 15-to-16oz can natural, solid pack pumpkin

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups firmly packed, light brown sugar

½ cup sunflower or vegetable oil

½ milk

½ cup evaporated milk

Orange-Lemon butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Grated zest of 1 orange

1-2 tbsp orange juice

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup superfine sugar

Directions (Loaves)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the oats and chopped nuts into the mixture.

  2. Put the pumpkin in a large bowl and beat to break up with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually beat in the eggs till smooth. Beat in the sugars, oil, and milks until smooth. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the pumpkin-egg mixture until just blended.

  3. Divide the batter equally between the two pans, smoothing the tops evenly. Bake until risen, dark golden, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

  4. Remove pans to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes, then unmold, top-side up on to the wire rack to cool completely. Wrap well, and let stand overnight for flavors to develop.

  5. Serve with Orange-lemon butter.

Directions (Butter)

  1. Beat all the ingredients together in a medium bowl using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.

  2. Scrape on to a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper and shape into a log. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 1 or 2 hours.

  3. Slice into rounds and serve.


Harry Belafonte’s Corn Pudding


4 large eggs

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Three 8 ½ ounce cans creamed corn

1 ½ cups milk

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F

  2. Separate the eggs. To the yolks add the cornstarch, sugar, and salt; blend thoroughly.

  3. Whisk in the corn, milk, and butter. Beat the whites until stiff and fold in.

  4. Pour into a 2-quart buttered casserole and set in a large dish or pan. Add enough hot water to the dish to come halfway up the sides of the casserole.

  5. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

  6. Sprinkle with nutmeg and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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