It’s That Time of Year Again!

The time I am talking about is of course pumpkin season! Just about everyone’s favorite time of year…coffee shops bring back the pumpkin lattes, donut shops and bakeries the pumpkin donuts and muffins, stores the canned pumpkin puree…all such wonderful things! I do have to say though, some coffee shops really fail on the pumpkin syrups and they end up tasting as if you’re drinking a melted down candle (Caribou and Julius Meinl I’m talking to you), but Starbuck’s you are exempt, yours is delicious! So my obsession with pumpkin hit an all time high the other year when canned pumpkin became a rare commodity…I ended up buying at least a can or two every trip to the grocery store and when all was said and done, I ended up with a stockpile of 15 + cans! Needless to say, I needed to come up with a few recipes/ways to use them! So to celebrate the season, here are a few of my favorites:

Pumpkin Sage Alfredo (courtesy of Emily Vandenbroucke):

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 fresh sage leaves (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Combine the cream, puree, parmesan, sage, salt and pepper into medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Simmer the mixture until slightly thickened (10 – 12 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.
Pumpkin Donuts:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or a Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for deep-fat frying
  • Spiced Sugar
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high seed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in pumpkin, buttermilk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour until well combined. Cover and chill 3 hours.
  2. Shape into balls or on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut with floured 2-1/2-inch doughnut cutter  (if you are fancy enough to own one of these)!
  3. Fry doughnuts, 2 or 3 at a time, in deep, hot fat (365 degrees F) about 2-1/2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, removed doughnuts from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes. Coat warm doughnuts in Spiced Sugar.
  4. Spiced Sugar: In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Stuffed Pumpkin:
Pumpkin and cheese
  • 1 pumpkin, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • 4 ounces stale bread, sliced thin, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 ounces cheese ( Gruyère, Blue, or Goat are my favorites), shredded or cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Any other seasonings you like can be added! As can any type of meat or vegetable…
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Either line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Using a very sturdy knife, cut a cap off the top of the pumpkin. Clear away any seeds and strings from the cap and hold it aside while you scoop out the seeds and filaments inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper and put it on the sheet or in the casserole. Toss the bread, cheese and garlic together in a bowl, then pack it into the pumpkin. Season the cream with salt, pepper and several gratings of fresh nutmeg and pour the cream into the pumpkin. Put the cap back in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours — check after 90 minutes — or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbly and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. I removed the cap during the last 20 minutes or so of baking so that the top could brown. Another variation on this is to stuff the pumpkin with a combination of ground beef, cream of mushroom, cheese and some veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, etc)! Really you can stuff anything that is normally baked in the oven into the pumpkin and cook it inside and scrape the insides of the pumpkin when serving!
I have plenty more pumpkin recipes so I’ll keep them coming throughout the season!! Here’s another I got from a patient, tried it last night…didn’t turn out as it was supposed to but was still absolutely amazing!! I can’t even imagine how sickeningly good these would be had they come out of the liners properly!
 Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate cups:
  • 10 oz good-quality chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
  • [10 mini (2 inch) aluminum/tin foil muffin liners]
  • 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) 1/3-less-fat Neuchâtel cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely ground cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (a food processor works best here)
  1. Melt chocolate in double boiler.
  2. Continuously stir the chocolate until completely melted. Remove bowl from the heat.
  3. Using a small spoon or pastry brush, “paint” the melted chocolate all over the insides of the 10 muffin liners (the tin foil cups are easier to peel off than the paper cups). The layer of chocolate should be thick enough so that you cannot see through it, but thin enough that the paper cups remain upright and intact. You will not use all of the melted chocolate in this step.
  4. Allow chocolate cups to cool and harden completely by placing on a tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also complete this step the night before.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese through vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in graham cracker crumbs.
  6. Evenly divide the pumpkin mixture between the hardened chocolate cups., smoothing the top to create an even surface.
  7. If the remaining melted chocolate has hardened too much, simply repeat steps 1-2.
  8. Evenly divide the remaining melted chocolate amongst the filled cups, smoothing the tops and making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges in order to seal the cups.
  9. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 1-2 hours.
  10. Try to eat just 1 or 2, I bet you can’t!
  11. (this is the site the recipe came from)!
When I made these, I think I used too small of liners (they didn’t have 2″ at the store so I got the 1 1/2″. I think going bigger would have been better in this situation! Mine don’t exactly peel out of the liners so easily! They were better today than last night however still some white chocolate stuck onto the wrappers, easy to lick right off though! I am going to try these again this weekend (since all but a few of mine have been eaten already, oops) so I’ll let you know if the liner size makes any difference! Oh and if you are not a white chocolate fan, do not fear this recipe, my husband despises white chocolate, but after much begging and convincing, I got him to try one and now he’s also addicted!

About valuptuousvittles

I am a chiropractor with a passion for eating, baking and wine! It seems that my life is consumed by food, whereas most people eat to live, I live to eat!

Posted on September 22, 2011, in Appetizers, Bakery/Dessert Recipes, Cakes, Non-Bakery Items, Sauces, Side Dishes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. LMAO I love it! Hahahaha if you are in dire need of a pumpkin latte and for some reason a Starbucks is not in reach, the Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Latte is pretty delicious. And, paired with a caramel apple donut, it makes for a delicious breakfast!!

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