So Much Pumpkin

Did you know that the warty pumpkins are supposedly the sweetest ones? With that trivia nugget in mind, Wyatt and I set about finding the biggest, wartiest pumpkin in the store. And then we roasted it whole for over an hour in a 400 degree oven. 

I didn't weigh this beast, but I should have. From this one big, warty pumpkin, we made pumpkin custard (which took about two cups of pumpkin), pumpkin bread (another cup), pumpkin soup (five cups), pumpkin muffins (one cup), and we still have have one cup of pumpkin purée left in the freezer.

After roasting the pumpkin, we quartered it, scooped out the seeds and strings, and then removed the flesh from the skin. We then puréed the pumpkin in the Vitamix until it was smooth.

To make the pumpkin custard, I followed Against All Grain's Maple Pumpkin Custard recipe. My only recipe changes were to use cream instead of coconut milk, and to bake the custard in one 9 inch x 12 inch glass pan instead of in individual servings. Using the larger pan nearly doubled the recipe's estimated baking time for me. And no surprise, pumpkin custard baked in such a casual way is not very photogenic, so there are no photos of our final product. But I promise that we ate it the first night with whipped cream on top, and later in the week, we enjoyed it plain.

Wyatt insisted on wearing his chef's hat to mix the custard. The hat seems to give him focus and determination while cooking or baking. He keeps telling me I should get one so that I can be a real chef, like him.  

Our pumpkin bread recipe came from Elana's Pantry: Easy Paleo Pumpkin Bread. We used the Cuisinart for this recipe. 

I made several changes to the original recipe. The volume of spices for this recipe sounded heavy for our taste, and I don't have a tiny loaf pan. So I doubled all the ingredients except for the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I omitted the stevia because I can't stand the taste of stevia. And I baked the bread in a regular sized loaf pan. Baking a larger recipe in a larger pan extended the baking time. The bread was done after about an hour in the oven, and it was delicious.

Our last pumpkin product (before deciding to freeze the rest lest we overdose and never willingly eat pumpkin ever again) was pumpkin soup. I followed the spirit of my Really Good Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Because we had already processed the pumpkin, I didn't have any strings or seeds to brown in the pan for flavor this time. But I did a really good job browning the onion. The soup was great, and we garnished it with sprouted pumpkin seeds.

We then took a pumpkin breather for a couple of weeks. 

Next, with an eye towards baking some gluten-free Smitten Kitchen pumpkin muffins, I defrosted one of the remaining cups of pumpkin purée.

Keeping in mind some of the lessons from America's Test Kitchen's cookbook, How Can It Be Gluten Free, I substituted, in a ratio of 1:1, my current favorite gluten-free flour blend (I mix it at home, but you can also buy it pre-mixed) for the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. I also used a full tablespoon of baking powder, and I allowed the batter to rest at room temperature for a half-hour before baking.

I've been calling these muffins "cupcakes." Their snickerdoodle tops certainly elevate them over any regular muffin. But the real reason for my sleight of language is that they'll be Wyatt's treat at an upcoming birthday party. Because this recipe made a dozen muffin-cupcakes, I have also tucked several away in the freezer for another day.