Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkin Delight

The Greenhabilitator attempts to make you salivate...

I've been drooling for weeks over this Pumpkin Pie from a real pumpkin recipe that was posted over on Make it From Scratch. I LOVE autumn - the sights, sounds, smells and, especially, the tastes.

Surprisingly I've never made a "real" pumpkin pie before. It seems a little daunting to turn a pumpkin into a pie when I can just buy it half way done in a can. But this year is different! I'm trying new things on the cooking frontier and, since pumpkin is my favorite fall flavor, I decided I'd need to try my hand at my own pumpkin puree.

Can I just tell you that I'll never buy pumpkin in a can again? I'm no foodie and I'm usually a pretty bad cook, but this was easy-peasy-rice-and-cheesy! If you've ever made your own baby food, it's nothing more than that.

~*Pumpkin puree*~
  • Buy a small (3-5 lb) pie pumpkin. Not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin!!
  • Wash it, cut it in half, scoop out the stringy part and the seeds.
  • Set the seeds aside for toasting!
  • Fill your pan with about 3/4" or so of water.
  • Put the cut sides of the pumpkin down.
  • Bake at 350 until tender (you'll be able to easily pierce the skin with a fork)

When it's done, scoop out the pumpkin, and puree it. I used Oskar, my 1973 food processor. He's the best. That's it. You have pumpkin puree! Why in the world would you buy the preservative-laden, BPA-lined canned version ever again?

I kept some in the fridge for immediate baking (see below) and I froze some in 1 cup increments. I got about 6 cups worth out of one pumpkin that I'm guessing was about 4-5 lbs. I didn't weigh it because they were just a set price at the farmer's market.

Here's where the seeds went...

Macy brought them to school for Show & Tell. The theme was "Bring in something that shows it's fall." Toasted pumpkin seeds say fall to me!

And here's the first thing I made with the puree:

~*Pumpkin Muffins*~

1 c all purpose flour
1 c wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1 c + 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 egg
3/4 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
  • Mix dry ingredients together very well.
  • Beat egg in a large bowl, then add other wet ingredients to it. Mix.
  • Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and combine well. At this point, if it feels extremely thick, you can add a splash more of milk. Some pumpkin purees are very wet, others aren't, so you might need the extra moisture of a little added milk. Add a splash at a time, but probably no more than 1/4 cup.
  • Spoon into greased cupcake pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
These are what I think of as "grown up" muffins, meaning they're not really sweet. They'd also be good with cranberries or raisins and nuts in them.

I'm making muffins in lieu of cupcakes for Macy's Kindergarten Halloween party so, for kid-appeal, I'm planning to add some chocolate chips and top with a cream cheese frosting. I love this Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread that I found from Pinch My Salt last year, but not sure if it will be a home run for the kids. (It definitely is for me though - deeelish!) Maybe I'll add a square of baker's chocolate when I make it. Kids love anything chocolate, right?

If you have any recipes for healthyish muffins I can pass off for cupcakes to a group of 5 year olds, I'm all ears!


Robbie @ Going Green Mama said...

Yes, it's very easy--isn't it??

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

How funny, I am making pumpkin muffins for my daughter’s Halloween school snack too. My family loves these and zucchini muffins (zucchini bread recipe poured into muffin pan). I include them in their lunches. This year will be the first year I try making pumpkin puree too. Wish me luck!

Julie said...

So cool and thank you. This is my first year for going to try pumpkin puree. I didn't know you could do it like I do squash. Thanks also for the recipe, I plan on giving it a try.

Melanie said...

I made the pumpkin muffins yesterday and my whole family thanks you!


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