Pumpkin festivals abound across the country. I saw listings for Half-Moon Bay, Moore Park and Manteca here in California. The festivals are favorite autumn events, offering the opportunity to sample pumpkin cooked in every possible form, from pumpkin stew to pumpkin pancakes. Of course, pumpkin pie is the all-time favorite!
The recipe I use for a simple, old-fashioned pumpkin pie is found on the Libby’s canned pumpkin label. It just can’t be beaten.
This next recipe is one to use when we begin to really feel the chill of autumn.
Pumpkin Soup with Ginger
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 ½ tablespoons flour
• 1 tablespoon curry powder
• 4 cups Chicken Stock
• 4 ½ teaspoons chopped crystallized ginger
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
• 3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the onions until soft. Add flour and curry powder, and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add 2 cups of the Chicken Stock, stirring constantly. Blend in the ginger, lemon juice, pumpkin puree, apples, and cinnamon. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Puree in small batches in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and slowly add remaining stock until desired thickness is attained. Add brown sugar to taste.
Look for inexpensive pumpkin-shaped mugs at your local thrift store for a fun way to serve this tasty soup.
I love pumpkins. I love to look at a field of pumpkins. I love pumpkin stands along a country road. I love seeing a pumpkin by the front door of a home and I really love pumpkin recipes!
What could be more connected to “Americana” at this time of the year than the smell of something “pumpkin” baking in the oven?
Cream cheese gives this pumpkin bread recipe a texture resembling pound cake. You can serve this for breakfast or for dessert, topped with ice cream! Either way, I’m sure it will become a holiday favorite.
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
(Makes two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaves)
• 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
• ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 (16-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
• 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon ginger
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
• 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of the two loaf pans or line with baking parchment. (If using disposable foil pans, simply coat bottoms with nonstick cooking spray.). Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Blend in pumpkin. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in separate bowl. Add to pumpkin mixture along with walnuts and cranberries, mixing just until all ingredients are moistened. Divide batter between pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on racks. (If using foil pans, cool bread in pans.) Keep tightly wrapped and store in the refrigerator for easier slicing.
Toast walnuts in a 375-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring 3 times while baking.