RECIPES: 6 canned pumpkin dishes good enough to make any time of year

RECIPES: 6 canned pumpkin dishes good enough to make any time of year

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I am a pumpkin hoarder. I often buy it by the case when I find it on sale after Thanksgiving and Christmas. It started after years of frustration because canned pumpkin generally isn’t available at the supermarket year-round.

And that’s really too bad. We should be eating pumpkin all the time, as we do most other fruits and vegetables.

So what do I make with all those cases of canned pumpkin?

Pie and bread, of course, but also I stir it into stews and even chili. With just a handful of added ingredients — a sauteed onion and garlic, some spices and broth — a can of pumpkin becomes an almost instant soup. I add it to biscuits and scones and stir it into pancake and waffle batter.

Pumpkin is an excellent source of nutrients — a half-cup serving contains all the vitamin A you need in a day, plus 10% of the recommended amount of fiber — and like applesauce, it can be used to replace some of the fat and eggs in baked goods, with limitations, of course: ¼ cup pumpkin puree for 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon pumpkin equals 1 tablespoon butter or oil.

Of course, if you insist, all of the following recipes can be prepared using cooked and mashed sugar (pie) pumpkins, but honestly, why go to all that trouble? Canned pumpkin is so much easier and it’s consistent from can to can, especially if you always use the same brand.

Pumpkin Waffles With Maple Mascarpone (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Whole-wheat flour and pumpkin boost the fiber in these waffles, while a dollop of maple-spiked mascarpone keeps them from tasting like health food.

Pumpkin Waffles With Maple Mascarpone

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour OR 1 cup all-purpose flour PLUS 1 cup whole-wheat flour (see note)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ (15-ounce) can (scant cup) pumpkin puree
  • For the mascarpone:
  • ½ (8- to 9-ounce) tub mascarpone cheese, slightly softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream OR half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add the vanilla, egg, milk and pumpkin and stir until the flour is completely incorporated and no white streaks remain.

Heat waffle iron. Let the batter rest while you prepare the mascarpone.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone, heavy cream and maple syrup until smooth and fluffy; refrigerate while you cook the waffles.

Cook waffles in hot waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve waffles with a dollop (or three) of mascarpone and maple syrup.

Makes 4 (7-inch) round waffles.

Note: 2 cups baking mix such as Bisquick can be substituted for the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

[Video not showing above? Click here to watch: arkansasonline.com/1013pumpkin]

Parmesan, black pepper and broth make pumpkin’s savory side shine in this risotto.

Pumpkin Risotto

  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring the broth or stock to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer while you prepare the risotto.

Place a separate saucepan, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat; add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic and sautee until onion is translucent and begins to soften. Add the rice, stirring to coat well with the oil. Add the wine, and cook until wine has evaporated. Add the nutmeg and 1 cup of the broth; reduce heat so that the mixture simmers. Stir often, cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, about 5 minutes. Repeat with another cup of stock, and continue stirring, adding stock until the rice is almost tender but still has some bite to it, about 20 minutes total.

Remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin, cheese and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from The New York Times

Harvest Moons (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Harvest Moons (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

These large cakelike cookies can be made with or without chocolate. I prefer them without.

Harvest Moons

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, optional
  • Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
  • ¼ cup milk or cream, or as needed
  • Chopped pecans, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line (or lightly grease) two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Beat in the egg and then the oats. Add the flour, alternating with the pumpkin. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.

Drop batter by ¼-cupfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cookies are set and very light golden brown around the edges. Cool on pan for a minute or two and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, spice and enough milk or cream to make spreadable glaze.

Drizzle, spread or dip cooled cookies in glaze, and sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Note: Make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

Recipe adapted from “The Essential Cookie Companion, Revised and Updated” from King Arthur Baking Co.

Garifuna Pumpkin Cake (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Garifuna Pumpkin Cake (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

The texture of this sweet, dense cake is more like a pudding than a cake.

Garifuna are people of African and American Indian descent that live primarily in coastal regions of Central America, including Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Garifuna Pumpkin Cake

  • Butter, for greasing
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and pumpkin using a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the batter with a rubber spatula. Bake 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe from “The Latin American Cookbook” by Virgilio Martinez (Phaidon, $49.95, to be released in November)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pecan halves, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper leaving overhang on two opposite sides.

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, making sure sugar is completely saturated with butter. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add half of the egg-pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Add another third of the flour, stirring to combine, then add the remaining eggs and mix well. Add the remaining flour and stir until smooth. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Arrange pecan halves on top of batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are set and center is firm; avoid over-baking. Cool completely in pan.

Pumpkin Loaf With Streusel Topping (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Pumpkin Loaf With Streusel Topping (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

Pumpkin Loaf With Streusel Topping

  • Streusel:
  • ¼ cup very soft butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
  • Pumpkin bread:
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the streusel ingredients; chill while you prepare the batter.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, pumpkin and oil until well combined. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Stir in about half of the flour mixture, and then the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Take the streusel out of the fridge and break it up with a fork, if necessary. Completely cover the top of the batter in streusel. Bake loaf for 75 minutes or until a wooden tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool loaf in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 large loaf.

Note: Make your own pumpkin pie spice by combining ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

Recipe adapted from butternutbakeryblog.com

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