Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baking with "spaghetti-pumpkin"

Our Apprentice went to a youth group pumpkin event last weekend, and brought home a carved creation that, unfortunately, collapsed shortly thereafter due to structural difficulties.

She offered the bottom of it to me for cooking, and there was quite a bit of veggie still there so it did seem a shame to waste it. The pumpkin piece was about as big as our round pizza pan, so I put them both, with a bit of water, into the toaster oven (at 350 degrees).

When it came out and I was scooping the cooked squashy stuff into a bowl, I noticed that the texture was more like stringy spaghetti squash than either the smaller pie pumpkins or the canned pumpkin I've used before. I wasn't sure how that would work in the Pumpkin Loaf I planned to make with it. So when I baked the next day, I put all the wet ingredients (including the cooked pumpkin) into the food processor and blended them together before adding the dry ingredients. You could use a blender too.  (Obviously you could process or blend the pumpkin by itself, but I think dispersing it with the other wet ingredients gave the mixture a smoother texture.  If you prefer a few lumps, process for a shorter time.)

And the pumpkin loaf turned out fine--actually better than usual. I like the fresh taste of "real" pumpkin in baking.

Using the "kitchen slaves" to blend ingredients with a less-than-ideal texture may not be terribly original...but it worked for me.

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