4 Fabulous Fall Treats



fall treatAs the temperature drops and leaves begin to fall, why not celebrate the season with autumn-inspired desserts that feature delectable international flavors?

Enjoy the season’s bounty with these four fabulous treats: French apple pie with cream cheese topping, Greek kataifi with candied pumpkin and yogurt, caramel pistachio torte with halvah and dark chocolate and Russian-style cold pumpkin cake.

French Apple Pie with Cream Cheese Toppingapple pie

This quintessential fall dessert boasts the perfect amount of apple, cinnamon and vanilla flavor.  As the crisp air makes its way into your home, warm things up with this delightful oven-baked treat.



1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 1/2 cups diced apple without peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons hot water

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup butter, white sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, flour, nuts, apples, 1 teaspoon vanilla and hot water in the order given. Pour the thick batter into pie pan.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes at 350°
  4. Serve with cream cheese frosting. To make frosting: mix cream cheese, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Can serve hot or warm.

Greek Kataifi with Candied Pumpkin and Yogurt


This Greek-inspired dessert features kataifi, a crisp and light Middle Eastern dough. A refreshing way to finish a meal, this recipe features the right amount of candied pumpkin to get you in the fall mood.




1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

1 1/2 tablespoons mild honey

2 cups water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 strips fresh lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 pounds (4 cups) sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 pounds kataifi (shredded phyllo dough) from a 1-pound box, thawed

1/2 cup sliced almonds (2 ounces), coarsely chopped


  1. Drain yogurt in a sieve lined with a dampened paper towel or coffee filter and set over a bowl 1 hour, then discard liquid and stir drained yogurt and 1 1/2 tablespoons honey together in a small bowl until honey is dissolved.
  2. While yogurt drains, bring water, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and remaining cup honey to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer pumpkin, covered, until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer pumpkin to a bowl using a slotted spoon, then boil syrup until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375° F. Stir together butter and sugar until combined well. Gently pull apart strands of kataifi in a large bowl to loosen, then toss with butter mixture and almonds until coated well. Divide kataifi among 12 muffin cups and press into bottoms and halfway up sides of the muffin cups, creating nests. Bake kataifi until the outsides are golden, 12 to 18 minutes (check by gently lifting one out of a muffin cup with a paring knife or small offset spatula), then cool completely in tin on a rack.
  6. Transfer kataifi nests to serving plates. Just before serving kataifi, spoon about 1/3 cup pumpkin into each nest, then drizzle each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons syrup and top with a tablespoon of yogurt.

Caramel Pistachio Torte with Halvah and Dark Chocolatecaramel torte

This wonderfully rich candy bar-like dessert is complex, but can be made in stages and even completed several days before serving.

With its caramel flavor, fresh apple makes a decadent garnish and is the perfect accent for a fall-inspired treat.




2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup pistachio halvah

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons ice water


2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup natural unsalted pistachios, toasted

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 large egg white


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon light corn syrup


For crust:

  1. Combine flour, halvah, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, process until blended to sandy texture. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons ice water in small bowl to blend. Add to flour mixture. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form.
  3. Gather dough into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap separately in plastic. Chill 1 hour.

For filling:

  1. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil until syrup turns deep amber or clip-on candy thermometer registers 360° F, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 11 minutes (time will vary depending on size of pan). Remove from heat.
  2. Carefully stir in cream (mixture will bubble). Add butter and whisk until melted and smooth. Stir in pistachios. Cool until lukewarm but still pourable, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray. Roll out 1 dough disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper to 11-inch round (dough will be about 1/3 inch thick). Remove top paper.
  4. Invert dough into prepared pan. Remove remaining paper. Trim dough overhang. Roll out second dough disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper to 10-inch round. Pour filling into prepared crust. Brush edges of crust with egg white. Remove top paper from second dough disk. Invert over filling. Remove paper. Press dough around pan edges to trim and seal.
  5. Place torte on baking sheet and bake until crust is golden, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Chill overnight.

For glaze:

  1. Bring cream and butter just to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and corn syrup and whisk until smooth. Cool 5 minutes.
  2. Place rack over rimmed baking sheet. Remove sides from tart pan. Invert torte onto rack. Remove bottom of tart pan. Pour warm glaze over torte (bottom of torte becomes top). Let stand until glaze sets. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
  3. Slice into thin wedges and serve.

Russian-Style Cold Pumpkin Cake

cold cakeThis comforting, dense cake features a salty and creamy filling and subtle pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.

Pumpkin cake is the perfect dessert for any fall occasion. Mix things up with this uniquely wonderful Russian-style cold cake.



4 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cups butter, melted

4 eggs

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda


3/4 cup cream cheese

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

Caster sugar for decoration


  1. Shred the pumpkin and drain excess juice.
  2. Add butter, sugar and eggs and beat with a fork until well-blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda, stir well.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until well-blended. Pour into springform pan.
  5. Bake at 350° F until a wooden stick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean (approx. 70 mins). Allow to cool.
  6. Make the filling by whisking together cheese, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.
  7. Cut the cake into two layers and spread the cream between the layers. Dust with caster sugar, refrigerate for at least 3 hours and serve chilled.

Recipe Sources:

French Apple Pie with Cream Cheese Topping via Allrecipes.com

Greek Kataifi with Candied Pumpkin and Yogurt via Epicurious.com

Caramel Pistachio Torte with Halvah and Dark Chocolate via Epicurious.com

Russian-Style Cold Pumpkin Cake via Russianseason.net

Image Sources:

Pumpkin Pudding Trifle in a Mason Jar Next to Cookies on a Table via photopin cc

Crumbles via photopin cc

Birthday cake, take three via photopin cc

Pumpkin Bundt Cake via photopin cc




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