Monday, October 11, 2010

Mad About Pumpkin

I bought this loaf of bread at the Evanston Farmers Market last week – a pumpkin sourdough. It was really great fresh – it was still warm when I bought it - but it was even better the next day when I used it to make French toast and poured maple syrup all over it.

When I was young, I couldn’t stand the taste of pumpkin. Now…I can’t get enough of it!

Pumpkin French Toast

• 4 eggs

• 2/3 cup whole milk

• 1/3 cup flour

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

• 6 slices thick pumpkin sourdough bread

• 3 tablespoons butter

• butter

• syrup

Mix together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt& cinnamon.

Heat a large skillet, or griddle.

When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter.

If the butter smokes, your pan is too hot; turn down the heat.

Dip each slice of bread into the batter for 30 seconds or more on each side until the bread is soaked.

Let some of the batter drip off, then put in skillet.

Cook each slice 1 1/2-2 minutes per side until each side is golden brown.

Add more butter, if necessary, to cook all of the slices.

Serve with butter & hot syrup.

Here are some other great pumpkin recipes that I love and you will, too.



• 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted, divided

• 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-ounce package)

• 1/4 cup warm milk (105–115°F)

• 1 tablespoon mild honey or sugar

• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and dusting

• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin

• 2 large eggs, divided, plus 1 yolk

• 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

• 1 tablespoon water

• Butter muffin cups with 1 Tbsp melted butter.

• Stir together yeast, warm milk, and honey in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.)

• Mix flour, salt, pumpkin, 1 whole egg, yolk, orange zest and juice, and remaining 5 Tbsp butter into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, dusting surface and your hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is elastic and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Form dough into a ball.

• Put dough in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

• Punch down dough (do not knead), then halve. Roll half of dough on a lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands into a 12-inch-long log (keep remaining half covered with plastic wrap).

• Cut log into 6 equal pieces, then cut each piece into thirds. Roll each piece into a 1-inch ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Put 3 balls side by side in each of 6 muffin cups.

• Make more rolls with remaining dough in same manner. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until dough is about 1 inch above rim of muffin cups, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

• Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

• Whisk together remaining egg and water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.)

• Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer rolls to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes.


• 1 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup water

• 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

• 3/4 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (not toasted; 4 oz)

• Put a 24- by 12-inch sheet of parchment on a work surface and anchor corners with pieces of tape. Bring sugar, water, and sea salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook mixture, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 238ºF (soft-ball stage) on thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes (sugar syrup will be colorless). Remove from heat and stir in seeds with a wooden spoon, then continue stirring until syrup crystallizes, 3 to 4 minutes.

• Return pan to moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts completely (sugar will continue to dry and become grainy before melting) and turns a deep caramel color, 4 to 5 minutes more (seeds will be toasted). Carefully pour hot caramel mixture onto parchment and carefully cover with another sheet. Immediately roll out (between sheets of parchment) as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, pressing firmly. Remove top sheet of parchment and immediately cut brittle into pieces with a heavy knife or pizza wheel. Cool brittle completely, then peel paper from bottom. (Alternately, break brittle into pieces once cool.)



• 1/2 cup whole milk

• 1 tablespoon cornstarch

• 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

• Pinch of ground cloves

• 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided, plus additional for coating ramekins

• 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin (from a 15-oz can, not pie filling)

• 10 large egg whites

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• Whisk together milk, cornstarch, spices, and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, then simmer, whisking, 2 minutes.

• Remove from heat and whisk in pumpkin. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

• Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in lower third. Butter ramekins and coat with granulated sugar, knocking out excess, then put in a large shallow baking pan.

• Beat egg whites with salt in another large bowl using an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. Add remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks, 1 to 2 minutes more.

• Fold one third of whites into cooled pumpkin mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Divide mixture among ramekins, mounding it.

• Bake soufflés until puffed and golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.



• 1 fennel bulb with fronds

• 2 medium parsnips (1/2 pound total), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces

• 1/2 lb celery root (sometimes called celeriac; 1/2 of 1 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

• 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

• 14 small shallots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole, plus 1/2 cup chopped

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• 2 red bell peppers

• 1 (8- to 9-lb) pumpkin (preferably cheese, pie, or Sweet Meat variety)

• Roasted-vegetable and wine sauce, heated

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1/2 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved

• 1/4 lb fresh chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed

• 1 lb seitan (seasoned wheat gluten), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, divided

• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


• Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

• Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve, then discard stalks and remaining fronds. Halve bulb lengthwise, then core and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges.

• Toss fennel wedges, parsnips, celery root, carrots, and whole shallots with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan until coated, then roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven. Leave oven on.


• Roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. (If you stove is not gas, see cooks' note, below.)

• Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers and discard stems and seeds. Cut peppers lengthwise into 1-inch strips.

• Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (6 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; do not discard top), then sprinkle flesh with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put pumpkin in a large roasting pan.


• Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into pumpkin and cover with top, then brush all over with remaining tablespoon oil. Roast 1 hour.

• While pumpkin roasts, heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped shallots until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and begin to give off liquid, about 8 minutes. Add wheat gluten and 1/2 teaspoon thyme, then stir in 1 1/2 cups more sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and fold in roasted root vegetables and peppers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

• After pumpkin has roasted 1 hour, spoon vegetable filling into it, then cover with top. Roast until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork, vegetables are tender, and filling is hot, about 30 minutes more. Transfer pumpkin to a platter using 2 sturdy metal spatulas.

• Stir together fennel fronds, parsley, zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and sprinkle half of it over filling. Stir remainder into remaining sauce and serve sauce on the side.

Bon Appetit!