Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two pumpkin recipes (yes, The Pie Recipe)

First, Pumpkin Cake. Or Pumpkin Loaf. Or Pumpkin Muffins, if you're so inclined.

This appeared, with an appetizing-looking photograph, on our newspaper's food page today. When I looked at the recipe, it was the same Canadian Living recipe I've been making forever. So feeling inspired (and having a can of pumpkin), Ponytails and I made a batch. This is the recipe as originally written, with my notes in brackets.


1 1/2 cups (375 ml) granulated sugar [2009 update: we have been cutting back on the sugar in this, down to 1 cup, and it still tastes fine]
2 eggs
1 cup (250 ml) pumpkin purée
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk (or sour milk or thinned yogurt)
1 3/4 cups (425 ml) all-purpose flour (we used part whole-wheat today)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice (We use only 1/4 tsp. of cloves and allspice)
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) baking powder

Icing sugar (optional--we skip it)

1 In a large bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil and buttermilk until smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and baking powder. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until blended.

2 Pour batter into lightly greased nine-by-nine-inch (2.5-litre) square baking pan. (Or an 8-inch square pan. Or a casserole dish if all your other pans are dirty. Mama Squirrel did not mean to imply that she has a kitchen full of dirty dishes, only that some of her pans are currently holding food in the fridge.)

3 Bake in a preheated 350 F (180 C) oven until top springs back when lightly touched, about 35 minutes (or longer--test to see if it's done). Let cool in pan on rack. Dust with icing sugar.

Makes a nine-by-nine-inch (2.5-litre) cake.


Okay, now that Wicked Pumpkin Pie. This is not the solid-packed version that everybody makes from the pumpkin can label; this is fluffy and lightly spiced, and we look forward to it every year.

There are very similar recipes for this in two of Edna Staebler's cookbooks (Food that Really Schmecks and Schmecks Appeal: More Mennonite Country Cooking). I've made them both and the only real difference (I think) is in the amount of filling that the recipe makes. So here is the Schmecks Appeal version, and if you happen to want a little more (extra company coming), you can look for one of the reprint copies of Food That Really Schmecks.

"Glorious Golden Pumpkin Pie"

2 cups pureed pumpkin (canned is just fine)
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. rum (optional) or 1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites, beaten stiff (I use the food processor whipping attachment to get them good and stiff)
Pastry for a 9-inch pie (I use pat-in pastry because I'm lazy)
Whipped cream for garnish if you want

Mix the pumpkin, egg yolks, milk and rum or vanilla. (We use vanilla.) Add the sugar, blended with the spices and salt. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Turn the mixture into the unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 degress for 10 minutes (I start it at 425 degrees instead of 400 though), then at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes longer or until a knife comes out clean.

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