Pumpkin wasn’t really my thing until a couple of years ago. I think I was always afraid of it (who wants to eat a jack-o-lantern? really). I have also despised pumpkin pie since childhood (don’t ask). And it sounds so gourmet. But pumpkin has a soft, subtle taste that can be spiced up to become savory or sweetened up for baked goods. I’ve gathered a few of my recent finds and new favorites. And none of them are pie!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (clipped from a newspaper years ago). Makes a fantastic hostess gift!
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup water
1 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups fresh pumpkin (a 15 oz can does just fine if you ask me)
2 cups miniature chocolate chips (tip: mini chips don’t sink to the bottom and burn!)
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Mix eggs, water, oil and pumpkin in large bowl (I use my kitchenaid mixer) until well blended. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into three greased and floured 9×5 bread pans. Bake 1 hour (my oven takes about 1 hour 10 minutes)… test with fork to see if it comes out clean.
Pumpkin Tomato Bisque (from my boss’s kitchen). Try with a grilled cheese! We actually served this to a few friends with gourmet grilled cheese (think gouda, asiago, mozzarella!). It was a huge hit!
4 Tbsp butter
1 large white onion
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
4 cups canned pumpkin
In a 10″ skillet, melt butter over medium heat add onion and saute 5-7 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth. Allow to simmer partially covered for about 15 minutes.
Pour tomatoes and juice into food processor, add honey and puree. Add pumpkin and puree again.
Remove onion broth from heat. Strain onion, pouring broth into a medium pot.
Toss onions into food processor and puree with tomato pumpkin blend.
Add puree back into pot with broth and heat to desired temperature.
Pumpkin Pie Dip (from my beautiful friend, Kara)
1 (8oz) block softened cream cheese
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup pumpkin (1 1/2 if you’re excited about pumpkin)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
Mix ingredients thoroughly until smooth. Serve with sliced apples or graham crackers.