Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What to do with that cute little pumpkin...

This morning I received a delightful surprise when I opened up the newspaper. A couple weeks ago, a friend interviewed me as a source for a story she was writing on using local foods for Thanksgiving. Little did I know that I would become her main source for the article! As a bonus, she worked my blog address into her text, so if there’s anyone out there for the first time, welcome! If you want to read about my first experiences with an "eating local" challenge, you can find the topic on the sidebar or just click here.

The newspaper article included my recipe for how to turn a local pie pumpkin into puree. In response to a request from a reader (sorry it’s taken so long!), I want to include some recipes of what to do with that puree once you bake it. Some of the ingredients are decidedly non-local, so buy fair trade if you can.

Pumpkin Puree
Buy one of those cute little pie pumpkins from a farm stand. Halve pumpkin and scoop out seeds and strings. Place halves face down on a cookie sheet, add 1/4 inch water. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Scoop out the squash part and mash in a blender or food processor. Puree can be used for pie, cookies, muffins, breads, etc. One pumpkin is more than enough for a pie.

Pumpkin Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 c cooked (or canned) pumpkin puree
1 c chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. Apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 4 dozen.

Apple Pumpkin Muffins
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup cooked (or canned) pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples

In a bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen small or 1 dozen large.

No-cook Pumpkin Pie
(OK, this uses a lot of grocery store ingredients, but the pumpkin can be local!)

1 pkg (3 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp cold milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 cups thawed whipped topping
2 pkgs (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
1 can pumpkin (or 2 cups pumpkin puree)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 graham cracker pie crust

Mix cream cheese, 1 Tbsp milk and sugar with wire whisk until smooth. Gradually stir in whipped topping. Spread on bottom of crust. Pour 1 cup milk into mixing bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with whisk until well blended, 1-2 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and spices; mix well. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate at least two hours. Garnish with additional whipped topping if desired.

Substitute for 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Separate pumpkin seeds from the goop and boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Let seeds dry a little on a towel. In a bowl, toss seeds with 1-2 Tbsp butter or olive oil, seasoned salt and a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce. Toast on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Chewy seeds are done when they turn light golden brown. For crunchy seeds, remove from oven as they start to turn dark brown.


Joyce said...

Woo-hoo! You're famous!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Donna said...

Joyce: Well, not quite, but I did enjoy my 15 minutes. :)

Amy: Thanks for your comment & for checking in. I love to have local readers! Sorry I had to delete your comment -- I'm trying not to reveal what city I live in, although I'm sure it's obvious to locals.

risa said...

These are great!

What we do with most of ours is cook them down a bit for the poultry, who appreciate pumpkin no end.

Donna said...

Risa: I bet they like it! Thanks for dropping by.