Every holiday season we’re left with loads of leftovers. Halloween season haunts us with a excess of candy (there’s only so much you can cram into your child’s school lunch. Even more diabolical than the surplus of sweets, is the twenty pounds of leftover pumpkins we’re stuck with.
What do to with all these left over sweets and pumpkin? I’ll be honest; you’re on your own with the candy purge. I can however, offer a few tips on managing your new found pumpkin patch. For starters, let’s start with the autumn classic, Pumpkin Pie. Baking can be awfully time-consuming. Thus, I offer a non-baking recipe for this rendition of an old classic. For starters, you can purchase any store-bought crust. If you desire to make your own crust it is simple. Follow a 3-2-1 ratio based on desired weight (typically a nine-inch crust will hold 1 ½ cups of flour) with flour being 3, 2 parts fat (butter) and 1 part water. Otherwise, the easier route to your local Fresh Market will do here. Instead, of baking your pie contents we’ll be heating it over a stove top. The ingredients are as followed:
1lb of pumpkin puree (or can purchase can of puree at store)
1 ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 can of condensed milk (if unsweetened, double sugar to four teaspoons)
¼ ounce kosher gelatin (agar agar is a nice vegan friendly substitute)
Salt to taste
First, to make the pumpkin puree scoop out and remove the actual guts of the pumpkin and dice into small pieces. You will then have to roast the pumpkin in the oven for about one hour on 350 degrees (Fahrenheit). It is best to roast the pumpkin with a little salt and oil. Once, the pumpkin is soft, tender to touch, take the remaining pieces and meld them in a blender until smooth.
Once the puree is finished you can begin on mixing the cinnamon, gelatin, nutmeg, and sugar in a sauce pan. On low heat add in the eggs and milk continuing to stir until gelatin is dissolved and all ingredients have come together. Take the mixture off heat and then add in pumpkin puree (preferably in a mixing bowl rather than the sauce pot). Mix in the puree thoroughly then pour mixture into the desired pastry crust. Put the pie in the fridge to cool and sit for about 2-3 hours and just like that your non-baked pumpkin pie will be ready to eat!
Well, we’ve found a way to rid ourselves of the actual pumpkin itself, what about the pumpkin seeds? Personally, I’ve never enjoyed just plain, old roasted pumpkin seeds – instead when I roast pumpkin seeds I like to add a little sweetness to them. Instead of just roasting your seeds with just little salt, pepper, and oil why not roast them with some butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. The combination of the four will not completely candy the seeds, but they will develop a nice sweet crunch. A slightly crunchy texture I personally find more appetizing than the routine mundane approach to roasting seeds. The ingredients are as followed:
Appox. 12 ounces Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ Tablespoon sugar
¾ Tablespoon Nutmeg
1/3lb butter (room temperature, not completely melted)
Add all the ingredients on a roasting pan and set the oven at 350. Roast for fifteen minutes and enjoy!
Finally, my last bit of pumpkin removal advice is dealing with any sort of pumpkin beer you may still have left over from Oktoberfest and Halloween gatherings. I suggest treating yourself to a batch of hard pumpkin cider – don’t worry there is no fermenting or at-home brewing involved. Simply, go out grab a batch of apple cider (you can also make apple cider via apple juice). Grab a pint glass; combine one half with the recently purchased apple cider, and the other complimentary half with your leftover Pumpkin Ale. Mix in the two and of course, enjoy! Happy Halloween and enjoy the upcoming holiday season!