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Turning up some ideas for Thanksgiving

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This week we have some autumnal recipes that work well for Thanksgiving. Jean Feliksiak sent in a recipe for a turnip and apple casserole she got from her daughter who lived in Virginia for several years. Like some southern dishes, it mixes sweet and savoury flavours, a characteristic that's also seen in many Thanksgiving favourites. Jean says with her Scottish heritage, she's partial to "bashed neeps" (or mashed turnips). I've also added a pumpkin cake that I've been making for years. As a Thanksgiving dessert, it's a casual alternative to pumpkin pie.

This week, Linda Buckmaster is looking for a chocolate icing like the one on a McCain's Deep SSRqn Delicious chocolate cake -- soft, fluffy and not too sweet. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.


Turnip and apple casserole

1 large rutabaga (about 1.25 kg or 2 3/4 lbs), peeled and cubed

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

60 ml (1/4 cup) brown sugar

pinch cinnamon



75 ml (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour

75 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter


Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook rutabaga until soft, drain well and mash with butter. In small bowl, toss apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. In a buttered casserole dish, spread a layer of mashed rutabaga, then a layer of apple mix, alternating layers and ending with rutabaga. In a small bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and butter into a crumbly crust and spread over top of casserole. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour.


Tester's notes: I love how the slightly bitter finish of the rutabaga complements the tart apple and the sweet topping. Rutabagas (also called swedes or yellow turnips) and white turnips are related, and you could probably use either. I ended up with a monster-sized rutabaga, about 1.3 kg. I added a bit more butter during the mashing, used a high-sided metal 22 cm (9 in) pan, and ended up with three rutabaga layers and two apple layers, which worked very well.


Pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing

400 ml (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour

5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

1 ml (1/4 tsp) nutmeg

1 ml (1/4 tsp) allspice

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda

125 ml (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

375 ml (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar

2 eggs

250 ml (1 cup) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk, warmed slightly


Cream cheese icing:

125 ml (1/2 cup) butter, softened

250 g (8 oz or 1 bar) cream cheese, softened

75 ml (1/3 cup) honey


Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Butter and flour a 22 cm (9 in) round cake pan with 5 cm (2 in) sides. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add pumpkin and milk and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in two additions, stirring in gently with a spoon until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 55-60 minutes. Place cake on a wire rack to cool. Run a knife around the pan and unmould onto a plate. To make icing, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until very well combined. Add honey and beat until well combined.

Decorate cooled cake with cream cheese icing and walnuts, if desired.


Tester's notes: This is a dense, moist cake with just a hint of spice. This cream cheese icing isn't too sweet. If you prefer a sweeter version, replace the honey with 750-1,000 ml (3-4 cups) icing sugar, adding the icing sugar gradually and beating well. In either case, make sure the cream cheese is nice and soft or you'll end up with lumps that are impossible to get out.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2013 ??65531

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