Apples and Pumpkins
This time of year is by far most people's favorite time of year on Long Island. The cool nights, changing leaves, pumpkin patches that pop up literally overnight, and amazing apple orchards. When my family has their annual apple picking trip to seven ponds farm in bridgehampton, you can actually see a small smile on everyone's face that is in the car. For me it is watching my kids pick an apple off the tree and just start eating it. The rows and rows of different varieties overwhelms. Which one to pick first? A similar experience happens when it is time to choose the perfect pumpkin. This year my two kids, ages 4 and 2, will be big enough to pick out their own pumpkins and carry it out of the patch. The past few years we have painted the pumpkins, but now they are willing to get messy and help dig out the seeds. They are delicious simply toasted with a little bit of vegetable oil and salt.
At the restaurant, we have discovered sugar pumpkins also commonly called "pie pumpkins". Sugar pumpkins are an excellent choice for cooking and baking, because they have a firm, sweet flesh that is much smoother (less stringy) than that of larger pumpkins. We are roasting these pumpkins to make a puree. This puree is the base for our savory pumpkin soup topped with a gala apple gastrique and nutmeg and cinnamon creme fraiche.
So unpack your sweaters and fleeces, head to your closest pumpkin patch and apple orchard and start enjoying fall. Because we all know that once this magical time of year is gone, it is a long winter and spring can't come soon enough.