Pumpkin Three Way

Posted Saturday, November 28th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

3 pumpkins

Caution: This material might not be suitable for an unripened audience.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We spent it with my husband’s family where we enjoyed a pot luck feast.  I brought a Pumpkin Pie (recipe below), cranberry sauce and my Persimmon Chutney, which was a big hit.  The chutney ended up being served on the cheese platter, a brilliant combination.  The best part was that no one died of botulism!

My fridge is now stuffed with delicious leftovers which we’ll be eating for days.  Right now I’m making a turkey broth from the bones my mother-in-law so generously gave to me.  I’ve have a turkey pot pie on the menu too.

But what I really want to talk about is pumpkins.

This is the first year that I’ve experienced the wonders of this handsome squash, so often dismissed as mere eye-candy.  The amount of food one of these shapely beauties can produce is astounding.

Thanksgiving seemed like the appropriate time to use the pumpkin made famous by its appearance in the Farm Apartment header.  This is my fourth or fifth pumpkin of the Fall, and I’m not sure I’ll be getting anymore.  Before saying goodbye to them all together, I thought I’d share my favorite recipes, in case you still have a few lounging around your kitchen.

Please take note that all of these can be made from one medium sized pumpkin.  Not kidding.

This recipe is adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook

Drunken Pumpkin Pie

Note: This is only a recipe for the filling, since I am a total chicken about making pie crusts.  I used a pre-made Arrowhead Mills Graham Cracker Crust which, while a little mushy, I think worked fine.

I have added a secret, sinful ingredient: whiskey. It makes everything taste better.

2 eggs

2 cups fresh roasted pumpkin (smallish Sugar Pumpkins are the best)

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup pack dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice

2-3 tablespoons of whiskey

To roast the pumpkin:

Preheat oven to 375.  Pierce the pumpkin in a few places with a knife or a fork.  Place on a baking sheet.  Put it in the oven whole.  Roast until brown and shiny and is easily pierced with knife: about 1 hour for a 5-lb squash.

Cut the stem off the pumpkin.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the strings and the seeds.  (Separate and save the seeds for roasting later – yum).  Scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender or food processor.

To make the filling:

Preheat the oven to 425.  In a large bowl whisk the eggs until blended.  Add the pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, spices and whiskey and whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Pour the filling into the prepared crust.  (If you have too much, put the pie in the oven and wait about 10 minutes.  The filling will have settled and you can add to it.)

Bake on the lowest oven rack for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 and continue to bake until the filling jiggles slightly in the middle – about 35 to 45 minutes.

Let cool completely before serving.  The pie can be made a day ahead.


For me, squash equals “no butter baking”.  That’s right, squash is an excellent substitute for butter in most recipes.  I learned this from one of my favorite cookbooks,Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy

With my leftover pumpkin puree, I kept all my spices out and  made a Pumpkin Spice Bread that’s the best baked good I’ve made in a long time. Or ever?

This is an adaptation from one of Michel Stroot’s Recipes.

No Butter Pumpkin Bread

1 cup fresh pumpkin puree

1 banana, mashed

1/2 cup or more chopped dates, raisins or Turkish apricots

2 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey or agave

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 egg white lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups semolina flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice

Roast a pumpkin and make a puree.


Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana into the pureed pumpkin and mix.  Mix in the dried fruit, brown sugar, oil, honey, and beaten eggs and egg white.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the semolina flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.  Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.  Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or let cool.


After making both of these, I still have some pumpkin puree left.  So I’m going to cook a Pumpkin Soup with the turkey broth I’m making.  As I only have about a cup of the puree left, I’ll adjust the recipe accordingly.

This recipe is adapted from How to Cook Everything

Pumpkin Soup

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound pumpkin, roasted and pureed

1-2 largish  tart apples, such as McIntosh, Granny Smith, Braeburn cored, peeled and roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups chicken, beef, turkey or veggie stock, preferably warmed

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

1 cup heavy or light cream (optional)

minced fresh parsley leaves or snipped chives for garnish


Roast the pumpkin and puree the flesh.

Place the butter in a large, deep saucepan turn the heat to medium. When the butter melts, add the apples and onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pumpkin, wine, tarragon and enough stock to cover most of the solids.  Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, partially cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree the soup in a food mill or blender.

Return it to the pan and cook gently over medium-low heat until heated through; do no boil. Stir in the cream and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute (do not boil). Garnish and serve.


Things I’ve Done To Persimmons

Posted Friday, November 13th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Persimmon ill

It was only a week ago that the sweet flesh of my first persimmon passed my lips, seducing my virgin taste buds with its luscious sweetness.  Like the first blush of a new romance, I was intoxicated.  It seemed as if we had known each other forever and I couldn’t even remember my life before.  The possibilities of this new relationship seem limitless and eternal.  Put simply, it is love.

Chicken With Persimmons, Apricots and Capers

This is an adaptation of a recipe in The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Cookbook, an essential item for anyone interested in adding flavor to their cooking library with delicious seasonal recipes using the freshest ingredients.  The original recipe was “Chicken Legs With Kumquats, Prunes, and Green Olives.”  I changed it to “Chicken With Persimmons, Apricots and Capers” and served it with a side of roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Balsamic Glaze – also from the SM Farmer’s Market Cookbook.


2-3 boneless, skinless free-range chicken breasts
2-3 persimmons, skinned and cubed
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots
1 cup boiling water
1 onion chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken of vegetable stock
2-3 tablespoons capers (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil


- Pour enough boiling water over the apricots to cover them until they soften.  About 15 minutes.

- Meanwhile, peel and cube the persimmons.

- Use a scissors to quarter the apricots.

A Fall palate

A Fall palate

- Pour oil in a pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the chicken pieces, seasoning each side with salt and pepper.

- Sear each side for about 3-4 minutes, until the outside is opaque.

- Remove the chicken to a plate.

- In the same pan, saute the onions in the oil created by the chicken until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.

- Add the wine and raise the heat to medium until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

- Return the chicken to the pot and add the apricots, persimmons and capers and a dash of salt and pepper.  I added a bit of the stock at this point, to keep everything from sticking.

- Stir, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, adding stock if necessary.   Add the rest of the stock and simmer for 10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.

Persimmon Apricot Caper Chicken


Persimmon Salsa on Moroccan Spiced Tilapia

Served With Salad

And Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing

These are recipes I got from the world wide web.  The mix of flavors, the orange with the spicy, sweet salsa and the curry flavored fish was transporting.  And it was all pretty simple to make.


I left out the mint and ginger, simply because I didn’t have any and it was still wonderful.  Also I put a little bit more lime juice in.


4 small or 3 medium-size firm but ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 2/3 cups)
2 tablespoons minced white onion, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chile
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger


Mix persimmons, onion, lime juice, basil, serrano chile, mint, and ginger in small bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Salsa can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)


I chose tilapia because I’ve heard that it’s one of the most sustainable of all the fishes.  However, I’ve never been able to prepare it so that it doesn’t taste completely bland.  This recipe is genius!  It could not be easier, takes 10 minutes, is relatively healthy and it’s delicious!


2 tilapia fillets
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil


Season both sides of tilapia fillets with salt and black pepper. Rub cumin and coriander all over both sides of fillets. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tilapia fillets and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, until fish is fork-tender.

Citrus Vinaigrette

This recipe is from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, The Golden Door Cooks Light and Easy. Michel Stroot is a culinary wonder when it comes to preparing simple yet gourmet yet low-calorie, healthy meals using the abundance of fresh produce that Southern California boasts. Honestly, you can’t go wrong.


2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons champagne or chardonnay vinegar (any white wine vinegar will do)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

optional ingredients:

1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon chopped lemon or common thyme


Combine all ingredients and process until smooth.  I usually use and old jam jar and shake it up really good.

Persimmon Chutney

For this recipe, see my post on the Canning Class at Surfas.