The Brellis House


A Lovely Christmas

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by Dan

I wanted to title this post, A Loafly Christmas, but I thought it was too lame.

It’s a bit late, but I wanted to share a few presents from my lovely wife. First, one that she out a lot of effort into and handmade all by herself: a bread board.¬† She made it from walnut boards her dad had from a walnut tree that fell on their property years ago. It’s perfect for slicing bread and displaying breads at the table.

My latest ciabatta, thanks to another Christmas gift from Susanna, turned out light and porous. I had heard that you could use unglazed quarry tile instead of an expensive pizza stone and she set off on a wild goose chase to find me some. These are 6×6 inches and fairly inexpensive; I line the middle rack with 6 of them placing free-loaf breads and pizzas right on the super hot tiles.

And while we’re on the subject of Christmas, we made pumpkin butter from our Halloween pumpkins and preserved them for Christmas gifts for pretty much everyone. Susanna made some labels for the top and we put together a label with some suggestions for use.

It was a good Christmas.



Pumpkin Butter

Posted on December 23rd, 2011 by Dan

Pumpkin butter on toast

I had no idea that pumpkin butter, or any fruit butters for that matter, were so easy to make. It’s basically boiled down fruit puree with some spices. I decided to use up some of my frozen pumpkin puree from my Cheese Pumpkin to make pumpkin butter. Also, we saw a recipe for buttered rum that called for pumpkin butter too ;-).


  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup apple cider (apple juice can work here too)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbls maple syrup
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries, grated
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used less a little less, it will depend on how sweet you like your spread)
  1. Combine pumpkin puree and the apple cider in a  sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add in cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla, maple syrup, other spices, and sugar (adjusting for taste) and whisk until combined
  3. Bring to a bubble, whisking frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened (about 1 hour), whisking occasionally
  4. Let cool, remove cinnamon stick and cloves, and serve on pancakes, ice cream, toast, or buttered rum…
Pumpkin butter on ice cream