Pumpkin Recipes: From Soup and Pie to Brownies

Isn’t it thoughtful of the seasons to allow pumpkin to be ready, just in time for Thanksgiving? But seriously, pumpkin and other orange squash like hubbard or butternut taste great in everything from soups to breads to brownies…and of course, pumpkin pie. Now is the time of year to buy those lovely little pumpkins or other squashes, and use them in a multitude of wonderful ways. If you don’t want to use canned pumpkin in these recipes, you’ll find our instructions for making your own pumpkin purée at the bottom of the post.

PUMPKIN SOUP

2 cups pumpkin purée (instructions below)
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 small potato, chopped
2 Tbsp butter or some cooking oil
3 cups soup stock, either vegetable or chicken
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp of one or any combination of: nutmeg, allspice, clove, curry, cumin, turmeric

Brown the onions and potato in a soup pot, in butter or oil. When soft, purée in a blender with the pumpkin. Transfer back to the soup pot and heat on low while you season with salt, pepper and spice. Turn the heat up to just below medium while you slowly add stock. Stir over heat until ready, but don’t let it boil.

PUMPKIN GNOCCHI

1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée (instructions below)
2 3/4 – 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp pepper
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dijon mustard

Combine pumpkin with the other ingredients until homogeneous and smooth. The dough should be soft, pliable and not too stiff. On a floured surface, working with a large handful of dough at a time, roll the dough into logs about 1/2-3/4 inch in diameter. Using the side of a fork, cut 3/4 inch chunks of dough off the log and then lightly press them with the bottom of the fork to leave a ridged imprint in the dough. In batches, drop the dough into at least 2 litres of boiling, salted water and continue to boil each batch until gnocchis float. After a minute of floating, remove them from the water and lightly toss in oil to prevent them from sticking to each other. Cool, cover and store, or use immediately.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
2 cups milk
12 Tbsp pumpkin purée (instructions below)
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with butter, walnuts, and syrup.

NUTTY PUMPKIN BREAD

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bran
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, cloves (optional)
2 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (instructions below)
4 eggs (slightly beaten)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup dried cranberries (chopped, optional)

Mix dry ingredients together and make a well. Add pumpkin, eggs, oil, seeds and cranberries to the well and mix until just moistened. Pour into 2 greased 9×5 inch loaf pans and bake at 350°F until toothpick inserted in centre of loaves comes out clean, 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.

PUMPKIN PIE FILLING

3 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (instructions below)
6 eggs
1 cup whipping cream (35%)
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice

Whirl purée in food processor along with eggs, cream, both sugars and spices until evenly mixed. Strain through a sieve. Use as filling for your favourite pastry shell.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE SWIRL BROWNIES

Chocolate batter:
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz 70% cacao chocolate or unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 – 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Pumpkin batter:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 – 1 cup pumpkin purée (instructions below)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 11″ baking pan. Using a double boiler (or two differently-sized pots), melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the chocolate batter: flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the pumpkin batter (flour, baking powder and salt in slightly different proportions). In a third bowl or standing mixer, beat together the 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar for the pumpkin batter. Mix them for 3-5 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Add the melted butter and spices and blend well. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract to the melted chocolate and blend well. Beat in the eggs and combine well.

Time to mix your wet and dry. For the chocolate batter, fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture, stirring as little as possible but still blending completely. For the pumpkin batter, pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix (use a stand up mixer if you have one) to combine thoroughly. Again, don’t overmix.

Pour half of the chocolate batter into your prepared pan. Layer half of the pumpkin batter on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the reaming two layers. Using a spatula, swirl the two batters together by inserting the tip all the way to the bottom of the pan and moving it through the batters in an S shape. Try to swirl the bottom layer up toward the top while continuing with the swirly, s-shaped motions. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.

PUMPKIN PURÉE

First, find a big strong knife to cut your pumpkin in half. You can empty out the inside with a spoon, reserving the seeds in a bowl and composting the mushy stuff. Rinse the seeds a few times to remove traces of the squash, and drain in a colander.

Place the cleaned halves facing down on a roasting pan or cookie sheet with high edges. Pour about a quarter cup of water or so on the sheet. The water is just to keep the squash from sticking to the pan, and helps to steam it a bit. Put your pan of squash in a preheated 375°F oven, and leave it for about an hour. Check on it at the 45 minute mark – depending on the size and tenderness of your squash, it could be close to done – but if you have a tough one, it may only be halfway there. You should also check to see if the bottom of the squash is sticking to the pan – if it is, you may want to add some more water.

The squash is done when you can peel the thinnest layer of peel away from the flesh. It kind of puffs away from the flesh – you can tell when it’s at this stage because it bounces back if you poke it. Set aside the squash to cool a bit. Then remove the peel and place the flesh in a large bowl, and puree it with a stick blender. Or stick it in your food processor or blender. ou may have to add a bit of water to make it blend nicely, particularly with butternut or hubbard squash, which seem to be a bit denser than pumpkin.

PUMPKIN SEEDS

Sprinkle some sea salt and a bit of oil on your reserved and drained seeds (and any other spices you like… celery salt, garlic powder, chili powder, Italian herb seasoning…) Give them a swirl to distribute the spices, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they’re brown and fragrant. When they’re done, let them cool off and store in a plastic container or mason jar.

Updated from posts originally published in 2010, 20111 and 2012

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