pumpkin, 3 ways

white pumpkin

i roasted 2 medium sized pumpkins, one white and one orange, 2 weeks ago. i wasn’t sure how much food they would end up yielding because squash is really hard to estimate. we had a friend’s thanksgiving to attend and contribute to, so i figured i would load them up with an all pumpkin special. i ended up with 3 separate pumpkin dishes: pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin ice cream. everything was wonderful, though i do have an anecdote on cheesecake.

i really enjoy cheesecake, and i enjoy making it. i have never made a bad cheesecake, and have never ever cracked one. in fact, i was ignorantly under the impression that you had to be a pretty unexperienced cook to screw it up. i see pictures of cheesecake with huge fault lines down the center, and never think that i could make the same mistake one day if i am as impatient as that…

i was roasting pumpkin for hours,  making pumpkin puree, making soup, running to the store for this and that, and was basically in a huge rush. i hate being under any stress when baking, so usually try to stay focused. my mistake in the cheesecake was removing it from the oven too early. i usually let it cool off in the oven for an hour or so, with the door cracked, so it comes down to room temp slowly. this time, i pulled it out 15 minutes or so after it was done baking, believing i was immune to a broken cake. science was right, and i was wrong. i learned my lesson.

here are 3 wonderful pumpkin recipes.

vegan pumpkin soup

this is a slightly sweet, very rich soup. all you need is a mug to feel full.

ingredients:

creamy pumpkin soup

3 cups pumpkin puree

2 cups vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1/2 white onion, minced

tbsp or so olive oil

handful of fresh sage very finely chopped

tbsp minced garlic

a tablespoon of curry powder

few pinches of brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

method:

in large pot, heat oil at medium heat. add onion, and cook until translucent and tender. add sage, garlic, and curry powder, and let cook just for a minute.

add broth, coconut milk, brown sugar, and pumpkin. stir very well. let the whole thing heat through.

add salt and pepper. start tasting and adding things as you see fit. more curry, more salt, etc.

serve hot. i made some crutons for my grain eating friends by cutting up some regular whole grain bread, soaking it in a little oil, salt, and pepper, and toasting in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

pumpkin cheesecake

this was super delicious. the grain-free crust was really tasty. i love graham cracker crusts, and this turned out quite like it, but with way better flavor from the hazel nuts. you can add cinnamon to the crust for a little more flavor, if you wish. also, you can use 1 large can of pumpkin puree if you are not into roasting your own.

ingredients:

for the crust:

3/4 cup hazel nuts

3/4 cup almond meal

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

combine all ingredients, preferably in a food processor, until it forms a dough.

press it into the bottom of a well buttered spring form pan. set aside.

for the filling:

super tall pumpkin cheesecake

16 oz of room temp cream cheese

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

4 large room temp eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups pumpkin puree

2 tbsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

method:

preheat oven to 350f.

cream the sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer until it is well combined.

add in the rest of the ingredients until it appears uniform in consistency.

pour into the pan over the crust. bake for an hour.

turn oven off and crack the door. let it cool like this for about an hour or so.

remove from oven, gently run knife around the edges to release from sides of the pan, and let it finish cooling at room temp for another hour or so before sticking it in the refrigerator overnight.

carefully unmold before serving.

vegan pumpkin ice cream

i got this recipe from a blog called the nourishing gourmet that i read often. i made a few spice and method modifications, and it turned out perfectly.

ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla ext

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp ginger

pinch of salt

method:

combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before freezing. this will let the flavors develop nicely. i always do this with ice cream!

pour into your ice cream maker and let it churn and freeze for an hour or so. you can tell it’s done when it forms a huge, softly frozen ice cream ball in the center, and ice cream pulls away from the sides of the tumbler slightly.

cover well and freeze for an hour or so, then serve.

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3 thoughts on “pumpkin, 3 ways

  1. Pingback: Paleo Pumpkin Ice Cream « CrossFit Snohomish Blog

  2. Hi! Quick question about the pumpkin cheesecake.. Are you using 3/4 cup of whole hazelnuts? Is there a substitution for hazelnuts that wouldn’t compromise the flavor of the crust? I am going to attempt to make this for my mom’s birthday coming up soon and she has a sensitivity to hazelnuts. We are both grain free so if there is another nut you would suggest that would be great! Thanks!
    Megan
    meganreese2@gmail.com

    • megan-
      i am using 3/4 cup of whole hazel nuts, then putting them in the processor to grind them, but not turn into flour. i would use toasted pecans or roasted almonds in the place of hazles, and no problem! the pecans will make it a real seasonal treat.
      the main focus with the nuts is grinding them so they are still slightly crunchy, but small enough to press into a crust. this will produce a more graham like texture. this is a great recipe, and i’m making it for a camping trip next weekend. i will be using pecans in the crust, and i think i’ll be coming up with a caramel topping for it as well!
      thanks for the question, let me know how your mom likes it!
      best,
      liz
      ps this will be perfect for the thanksgiving holiday!

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