Monday, November 24, 2008

Pumpkin Recipes

I have been using some of my frozen mashed pumpkin lately, so I will share my favorite recipes with you. (For future reference, to cook pumpkin - cut it up into pieces, cut off the outside rind with a knife or a peeler, cut off any stringy section on the inside and I usually end up with 1"-2" square cubes, put them all in a big pot with water and simmer them until they're tender, drain and mash - I had to look in a cookbook written in the 1940s to find out how to do that, although in retrospect, I probably could have found that on google.) Many of these recipes are adapted from Family Fun magazine, I highly recommend it! I got my subscription off Ebay for $4 for one year, but you can probably get it cheaper than that now.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
I made these back when we lived in SoFla. They are tricky to adapt from the canned pumpkin recipe, but the kids love making them (and eating them).
Ingredients: Pumpkin Cookies
2 eggs
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients: Filling/Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a half cup at a time, blending each time until smooth.
2. Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, using a moist finger or the back of a spoon to slightly flatten each mound. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar a half cup at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.
4. To assemble the pies, turn half of the cookies bottom side up and spread a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on each one. Top them with the remaining cookies (turned right side up). Makes 10 to 14 whoopie pies.

Curried Pumpkin-Apple Soup
This seems to be turning into an annual tradition. It is my favorite pumpkin recipe, and I love it as dinner on cold winter days. My husband isn't as keen. I don't use curry in it, that's up to you.
2 Tbsp Butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tsp mild curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups solidly packed pumpkin mash or canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1. Melt the butter in a medium size pot. Stir in the onion, celery and apple. Partially cover the pot and saute the ingredients over medium high heat until the onion is clear, about 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and saute the mixture for another minute. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth and cook it for 1 minute more.
2. Pour the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor, add the pumpkin, and puree the soup until it's smooth. Pour it all back into the pot, then stir in the remaining chicken broth and the salt. Set the soup over medium high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
3. After 5 minutes, stir in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of honey. Taste the soup, adding more salt or honey if necessary to get the desired balance of sweet and savory. Simmer it for 2 minutes more, remove the soup from the heat, and serve it hot. For a tasty touch, garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream. Makes 6 servings.

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds
This recipe comes from Money Saving Mom. You can see it here:
2 c. pumpkin seeds (from two pie pumpkins; rinsed and dried on a baking sheet for 48 hours)
1 egg white mixed with 1 Tbsp. water (save the egg yolk for your next batch of pancakes or scrambled eggs!)
1 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
Mix seeds and egg white mixture. Add remaining spices and mix well. Spread on greased baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for one hour stirring every 15 minutes.

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