It's time for another edition of Fall Fest and this week the topic is pumpkins. Nothing says Fall like pumpkins. Whether they're made into a pie, soup, muffins or another family favorite dish, pumpkins are versatile and delicious.
Many years ago before Food Network, before Cooking Channel there were Saturday morning cooking shows on PBS. They featured fantastic cooks like Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. But there was another cook that I think doesn't get enough credit -- Jeff Smith, also known as the Frugal Gourmet. He wrote a number of cookbooks along with having his PBS show. One in particular was called The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American. Whether or not you agree that there is such a thing as "American" cuisine the recipes in this cookbook are interesting and not very challenging. On one of his shows he cooked a pumpkin pie in the pumpkin. How cool is that?! Looked interesting and easier since there isn't a crust. He attributed this dish to the Native Americans. I guess that's possible.
Many years after seeing this (it stuck in the back of my head) I decided to try it. It didn't turn out. I think it was because I didn't use a pie pumpkin. It's very important to use a pie pumpkin and not one that you would carve for a Jack O Lantern.
So here's the recipe, just in time for Fall baking. Just think how spectacular it will be for you to put a whole pumpkin full of custard and spices on your Thanksgiving table.
1 sugar pumpkin 5-7 pounds
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the top of the pumpkin and set it aside.
Scoop out all the seeds and innards. The seeds can be kept for roasting later.
Place the clean pumpkin on a baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl cream together the sugar and eggs. <TIP> It's always best to use large eggs. I only had mediums so I used 7 instead of 6.
I did this step in order to have the sugar dissolved before pouring it into the pumpkin.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter to the mixing bowl.
<TIP> Molasses can be very sticky. It might be a good idea to spray your measuring spoon with cooking spray to make it easier to pour in the molasses.
|Black Strap Molasses|
Make sure all ingredients are well combined then pour the custard mixture into the pumpkin.
Top the custard with the butter pieces and place the top back on the pumpkin.
<TIP> The original recipes said to bake it for 1 - 1 1/2 hours but I found that it took mine closer to 2 1/2 hours and my pumpkin was 5 pounds exactly. Take the top off about half way and it will help the custard to set. Don't cook the pumpkin more than about 2 1/2 hours or it will start to collapse and ooze.
Once the custard is set, let the whole pumpkin cool to room temperature before serving.
|Excuse my well-loved baking sheet. It does work though.|
To eat this pie:
Remove the top from the pumpkin. Take a large, long handled spoon and scoop out the custard getting some of the cooked pumpkin from the sides. Serve it in a shallow bowl with or without whipped cream.
Granted this isn't your typical pumpkin pie. It's less sweet and there's no crust. It'll take some maneuvering with your spoon to get that perfect bite of custard and pumpkin, but it's delicious.
Doing something unusual for your Thanksgiving dinner?
Have a family tradition or recipe you'd like to share?
Or maybe an experiment that didn't quite work?
If you're looking for more pumpkin recipes look no further. The links below from the other Fall Fest contributors might be just what you need!
What's Gaby Cooking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
The Cultural Dish: Pumpkin Waffles
Cooking With Elise: Pumpkin Chip Scones
And Love It Too: Creamy Pumpkin Fruit Dip
CIA Dropout: Pumpkin Panna Cotta With Gingerbread
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Pumpkin Bread Parfait
I Am Mommy: Pumpkin Pancakes
Dishin and Dishes: Maple Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Pumpkin Pizza Farmhouse 1885:
Daydreamer Desserts: Pumpkin Fattigman
FN Dish: The Ultimate Pumpkin Soup
Cooking Channel: Pumpkin Risotto
The Sensitive Epicure: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies With Molasses Marshmallows
Daily*Dishin: Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake
ZaikaZabardast: Pumpkin Jalebi
Mooshu Pumpkin Nutella Bread:
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf