Happy Harvest, folks! Certain American holidays aside, this time of year holds feasting traditions far predating the Puritans. Celebrating the community, family, and the rewards of one’s labor, I thought this Autumn Festival, I’d feature some dishes in honor of one of my favorite games: My Time at Portia.
That’s why today we’re going to make different takes on pumpkin pie, saucy green beans, and barbeque ribs that will awaken you from your tryptophan-induced Turkey Day slumber!
- Click here to skip to the recipe for Sophie’s Pumpkin Pie.
- Click here to skip to the recipe for Green Beans with Sauce.
- Click here to skip to the recipe for Delicious Roasted Ribs.
My Time at Portia takes place 300 years after civilization’s fall when humans left their bunkers to rebuild society. Your character’s father leaves you his old building workshop, and you set out to make your way in a world on the mend. It’s like a steampunk-styled Fallout meets Stardew Valley with more crafting, less radiation, and cuter killer robots.
Portia’s theme is community, moreso how growth happens when people build something together. And no community is complete without its many gatherings and celebrations, such as Portia‘s Martial Arts Competition, Annual Snowball Fight, and of course, The Autumn Festival.
On the 20th day of Autumn (seasons are 30 days long — surely a byproduct of the apocalypse), all citizens of Portia gather in Peach Square to donate to the Harvest Pile and compete for the titles of best cook or largest grown vegetable. It’s quaint, fun, and an excellent time to nab a couple of Sophie’s famous pumpkin pies.
Sing for your Supper!
If you plan to cook the recipes off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I also have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe cards and playlist for these My Time at Portia-inspired Autumn Festival recipes will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until the next post goes up. After that, just the card will be available in my Ko-Fi shop.
You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. To get you started, patrons of all reward tiers receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019.
It’s a Wonderful Day for Pie
Speaking of pie, I realize I’ve never made a pumpkin pie for the blog that wasn’t wizard-themed and crescent-shaped. I blame this on my lack of confidence with pie crust and my pastry-hating warm hands. Developing this recipe taught me two things: I needed to use more dough, and I was doing too much to make it.
Where am I going with this? Well, it turns out you will need a crust and a half-worth of dough to line a deep dish AND give you that lovely fluted shape. Just cut that half into strips and attach it to the edges. You’ll notice, though, unlike my Hart of the Dragon Pie, I didn’t use store-bought dough. I have a reason for that.
Pumpkin Pie has been around forever, and tradition is fine. But you wouldn’t be at my site if all you wanted to do was learn how to add that silly jack-o-lantern face. That’s why I took Sophie’s crops into account, blending cumin, cinnamon, and coriander into the filling and infusing the homemade crust dough with dried mint. Of course, since Portia is all about progress (and it’s less maddening), I made the crust with a food processor. Take THAT, overly warm hands!
Sophie's Pumpkin Pie
Equipment: Food processor, two mixing bowls, refrigerator, 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, aluminum foil, rolling pin, spatula, plastic wrap, parchment paper, pie weights, baking sheet
- 2 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tb sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tb dried mint
- 1/2 cup shortening, chilled and cubed
- 3/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 15 oz pureed pumpkin
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Make the crust:
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, and mint to the food processor and pulse to combine.
- Toss in the shortening and pulse about eight times, then add the butter. Pulse 10-12 times until it resembles large breadcrumbs.
- Transfer the contents to a mixing bowl and drizzle in half of the ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Press and blend with the spatula, adding more ice water, if necessary, until it forms a dough.
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each portion with plastic. Flatten each piece into a disk and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until ready to bake.
Make the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Blend the sugar and spices in the other mixing bowl, then stir in the beaten egg, pumpkin, and evaporated milk. Set aside.
- Take the pie dough out at let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Roll the first disk on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch diameter, then carefully transfer it to the pie plate.
- Roll the other disk to the same diameter and cut it in half. Cut 1-inch thick strips from one half and arrange them around the edge of the pie. Press the dough with your fingers to incorporate, then flute the edges.
- Add a layer of parchment paper to the center of the crust, then pour in the pie weights. Cut triangle eyes and a mouth from the remaining pie dough and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the edges and cut pieces with beaten egg and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove both the pie shell and baking sheet from the oven. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 25 minutes.
- Cover the crust with foil, then return the pie to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until almost set. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for 3 hours before setting the eyes and mouth on top.
Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit
I don’t know about you, but I also think of Green Bean Casserole when I think of an autumn festival like Thanksgiving. I admit I’m a sucker for green beans and mushrooms, but when I saw pictures of The Round Table’s Green Beans in Sauce, I was craving Chinese food. Being China-based, Pathea Games features local cuisine such as fried rice, spicy noodles, sweet roasted ribs, and green beans with black bean sauce.
Before you grab that can of frijoles negros, though, this kind of black bean sauce features fermented soybeans and garlic for a savory, funky punch to the face. You can use Sichuan black bean sauce if you prefer it more on the hot and numbing side, but this dish works well with black bean and garlic sauce or ground bean sauce. I found mine at Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, but all brands should be easy enough to find online.
Since I made this dish to celebrate Portia’s Autumn Festival, I raided the harvest pile for more local ingredients. With that, I incorporated mushrooms, diced apples, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup into my sauce. It’s sweet. It’s saucy. And it lightens the traditional Green Bean Casserole significantly without sacrificing flavor.
Green Beans in Sauce
Equipment: Stovetop, skillet, paper towels, and tongs.
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup black tea, cooled
- 4 oz button mushrooms, diced
- 1 apple, diced
- 3 Tb maple syrup
- 1/4 cup black bean and garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Tb cornstarch
- 3 Tb peanut oil
- kosher salt
- Blend the tea, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, cornstarch, and black bean sauce in a dish and set aside.
- Preheat the skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes and add the mushrooms and apples. Cook until the moisture fully releases, then transfer to a separate dish.
- Pat the beans dry with paper towels and pour the oil into the pan. Once hot, add a layer of beans with a pinch of kosher salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until blistered. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Continue to cook the beans in batches until finished.
- Deglaze the skillet with the container of sauce and reduce heat to low. Scrape up the browned bits and simmer until thickened.
- Toss the beans in the sauce, then transfer with tongs to a serving plate. Then stir the mushroom-apple mix in the remaining sauce and pour over the center of the beans before serving.
Autumn Festival Feast
When I first thought of these recipes I intended Summer Barbecue instead of Autumn Festival. But that said, barbecue is delicious all year. And let’s face it. You will likely get sick of turkey before this month finishes. That’s why I figured this Cantonese-style pork ribs recipe from Django’s Round Table would wake up those taste buds.
Cantonese ribs usually involve a long soak in a mix of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and 5-spice powder before roasting and glazing in honey or maltose. Five-spice powder is not a featured game item, so I used a mixture of ginger, coriander, and cumin. I also used Portia-local apricot and strawberry jam in my honey sauce. Add some lime zest, and you’ve got a tender and flavorful break to go along with that mountain of leftover mashed potatoes.
Delicious Roasted Ribs
Equipment: Oven, refrigerator, large baking sheet with a roasting rack, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, basting brush, kitchen knife, carving board, and paper towels.
- One rack pork (St Louis cut) spareribs, 4 lbs
- 2 Tb oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tb apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- juice and zest of 1/2 lime
- 2 Tb honey
- At least 4 hours to the night before cooking, use a sharp knife to cut an inch down between each bone along the thicker edge. Then lightly score the rack all over the meat.
- Blend the remaining ingredients except for the honey in a bowl.
- Line the baking pan with plastic wrap and place the ribs on top. Pat dry with paper towels, then coat both sides with marinade and seal with the wrap. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
- An hour before cooking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the pan with foil and cover it with the roasting rack. Then unwrap the ribs and place them on top. Roast for 30-35 minutes.
- Glaze the ribs with honey, and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Let ribs rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.