Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Sage Balls with Creme Fraiche

I think any recipe with the word 'ball' in it tends to be good. Everybody likes bite-sized food, right? I came across this recipe when I was looking for a new appetizer to bring to a dinner party....everyone seemed to enjoy it. And it was really easy. I suggest doubling the recipe. They were good even without the dipping sauce (which if you can't find creme fraiche-you can make your own-recipe below). I skipped the fried sage leaves on top--didn't miss it.

adapted from

Makes about 16 pumpkin balls

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Topping: (Optional, in my opinion)
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 sprig fresh sage leaves

Sauce: (Also optional, in my opinion)
1/4 cup sour cream (light is fine)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I used fat-free half and half)
1 teaspoon white sugar (I used maple syrup)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (a raspberry or citrus one will do too)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 2 minutes until softened, then stir in the chopped sage, and cook 2 more minutes. Scrape into a large bowl, and stir in the pumpkin puree, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, and black pepper until combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place onto the greased baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until firm and hot, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the frying oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and add the sage leaves. Fry until the bubbles begin to subside and the leaves are crispy. Remove the leaves, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Prepare the dipping sauce by stirring together the sour cream, whipping cream, sugar, and balsamic vinegar until smooth.

To serve, sprinkle the pumpkin balls with fried sage leaves and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

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