Monday, October 10, 2011

From My Personal Grimorie: Recipes for a Dumb Supper

Photo credit Country Living Magazine

I make this menu every year to serve for Samhain night, with the addition of boiled ears of corn and maybe some buttered, mashed turnips. I love the variety of boiled vegetables, all of which can be covered in foil and kept hot in the oven until dinnertime. I usually keep the pork and broth hot in the Crock Pot, but it can also be made in the oven and kept hot in a covered casserole if you don't have a slow cooker. 

It's reminiscent of my Irish heritage and I make it primarily to honor my ancestors. It's a good, heavy stick-to-your- ribs meals like they make in the farm country. My Italian Grandfather made the porchetta, although there's nothing distinctly Italian about it. I imagine it's the kind of dish the Romans would have made during their invasion of the British Isles. The candy apple pie is the only 'modern' recipe, a traditional apple pie with a twist.

It's a fantastic menu for a Dumb Supper. I honestly have no idea where the recipes came from, I inherited a couple of them and collected the others over the years. I've never had a single complaint from the Ancestors in all the time I've been making it! 





Candy Apple Pie

(Tastes like an old fashioned glazed candy apple)


  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 20 cinnamon red hot candies
  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked


  1. Peel and core the apples. Slice thinly.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 c apple juice, candies, food coloring, vanilla, and apples in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer until apples are tender, stirring frequently. Combine remaining 1/4 cup apple juice and corn starch; stir into apple mixture, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  3. Spread apple mixture into pie shell, and chill for several hours. Before serving, top with whipped topping and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
I sprinkle a few red hots on top...not too many, or they'll melt into a beautiful glass red hard shell that you'll need a hammer to crack...NOT KIDDING.
 Apple Spice Cake
(Make a day or two ahead to allow the flavors to blend)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting or black walnut.rum glaze
  • 1/2 cup black walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 10 inch tube pan. Cover raisins with warm water, let soak for 10 minutes and then drain. Whisk together flour, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir together soda and 1 tablespoon warm water, and mix into the sugar mixture. Stir in flour mixture, apples, and strained raisins until well blended. Add black walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan. Once cool, shake pan to loosen cake. Turn onto plate, and dust with confectioners' sugar, or make a simple glaze out of confectioner's sugar, rum, and black walnut flavoring. Sprinkle additional walnuts over glaze.

 Pumpkin Custard Pie

(Store in fridge after baking. It cannot be left out, it will sour!)



  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a saucepan, stir the pumpkin over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until slightly dry and caramelized.
  3. Remove from heat; add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, cream and milk. Mix until smooth; pour into pastry lined pie pan.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Allow to completely cool on rack before cutting. 
I refrigerate mine over night before cutting it to be certain it's cold and firm. I use whipped cream and a little cinnamon to decorate it. A dollop of vanilla ice cream almost makes it too rich!

 PA Dutch Baked Apples

(Traditional and good with a scoop of vanilla custard or ice cream.)


  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large baking apples


Combine raisins, nuts and orange peel; set aside. In a saucepan, bring brown sugar, water, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg to a boil*. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Core apples and place in an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish; fill with raisin mixture. Pour sugar mixture over and around apples. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. 
*You can shortcut this recipe by using maple syrup and a little cinnamon instead. 

 Samhain Pork
(Make it in the slow cooker. It's my Grandfather's Porchetta recipe.)


  • 1 (5 pound) pork butt roast
  • 1 cup smoked ham-flavored broth, made from bullion* 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 whole onion, chopped in rings
  • 1/4 Table spoon each: fresh rosemary, thyme,dill
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup white wine, optional


  1. Cut roast in half. Rub each half with herbs and pepper, and place in the slow cooker. Pour broth,water and wine  over the meat. Check later to see if salt is needed. The bullion usually has plenty for me. * If you can't find ham bullion (Check the Spanish food section of your grocery store, make broth from a couple of smoked ham hocks and water.)
  2. Turn the slow cooker to Low, and cover. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the roast is fork tender.
Carefully remove the roast to a cutting board. Pull the meat off the bone with a fork.Shred the meat with a fork or cut it fine, and return it to the broth. Porchetta is served hot on an Italian or French style roll, with a bowl of the broth for dipping ( Think French dip). Left over broth makes a starter for  wonderful bean soup!


(Traditional Irish fare served at Samhain. There are many recipes with variations. This one is from County Mayo.)


  • 1 pound cabbage
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch ground mace
  • 1/2 cup butter


  1. In a large saucepan, boil cabbage until tender; remove and chop or blend well. Set aside and keep warm. Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  2. Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft.
  3. Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the kale or cabbage and heat until the whole is a pale green fluff. Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.


  1. wow!!! This sounds amazing! I was trying to think of a special menu for Samhain, and you've giving me great ideas!! ;)

    all hail AmethJera!!!! :) :) :)


  2. Wonderful post Kate! I have made Colcannon and I am going to try your Pork Recipe this year for my meal.

  3. Sounds good, and the desserts and sweet treats really appeal to my sweet tooth!

  4. These recipes sound wonderful. I think my ancestors would love them. Dumb suppers are such a powerful ritual for this time of year, thank you for sharing this.


Thank You for reading Broom With A View - Your comments are welcome and appreciated.