Pumpkins: Not Just for Jack o’ Lanters

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For the entire article and full recipes, visit my Farm to Table blog at MyKawartha.com

Win some free Farm to Table Hot Sauce.  Look for the contest at the end of the blog.

The joy of pumpkin is that it versatile.  Versatile and gooey.  Nothing says fun like scraping our stringy pumpkin guts and squishing them through your fingers.  If you have kids, be prepared for some screams of fun disgust.  Don’t forget to keep the pumpkin seeds.  Toasted, they make a great treat.  Simply rinse the seeds and spread them over a paper towel to dry overnight.  The next day, toss them in a bit of oil and salt and then bake.  I cook mine at 300 degrees for roughly a half-hour – tossing every 10 minutes or so – until they are nice and golden.

Most pumpkin recipes call for pumpkin puree.  Here’s a quick, no fail way to make your own:

In order to make the puree, you will need to scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean – have fun, kids!  You then cut the pumpkin in half, laying the halves in a large roasting pan, with a cup or so of water.  Bake the pumpkin at 350 for roughly 90 minutes, or until very tender.  Let cool and then scrape the flesh from the rind.  Use your food processor to puree until smooth.  Be sure that you are using a smaller pie pumpkin rather than a larger decorative one.  Jack o’ Lantern pumpkins are often too tough to eat.

Want to make use of some of that pumpkin puree?  Here’s an easy recipe to help you do so.  These are kind of “cakey” cookies that are popular with both kids and adults.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:
1 ¾ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons (or slightly more) milk
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together all dry ingredients (except white sugar).  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and white sugar.  Stir in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Measure tablespoon sized balls of dough, place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool and drizzle on glaze.

Glaze: Mix together ingredients.  If not thin enough to drizzle add slightly more milk.

Want to win some Farm to Table hot sauces.  We’re looking for your favourite pumpkin soup recipe.  Send yours in for a chance to win either jar of either “Jalapeno Hurt” or “Habanero Death” hot sauce.  Winner will be chosen in a draw.  Leave your recipe in the comment section or email “donald @ farmtablecatering . ca”

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