Pumpkins in October

Oct 042006
Authors: Collegian Staff

Oct. 1 marks the official beginning of pumpkin season. Grocery stores and supermarkets line up hay bales to contain the hundreds of pumpkins that will soon sit on front porches across the nation. Children giggle with excitement at the thought of sticking their little fingers into the gooey insides when creating a very silly or very scary jack-o’-lantern.

Pumpkins, although a great decorating accent next to a scarecrow lit up on Halloween, also make a delicious cup of coffee or a wonderful dessert. It goes beyond the typical pumpkin pie or pumpkin seeds. From homemade to store-bought, you can find fun pumpkin treats at the tip of your fingers.

Pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin bread:

Recipe from Helton House Bed and Breakfast in Owensboro, Ky.

*Note: I love adding chocolate chips to pumpkin bread

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup salad oil

1 pound can pumpkin

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

2 teaspoons. salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

2/3 cup water

1 cup nuts

1 cup raisins

Combine sugar, oil and eggs; add pumpkin. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to pumpkin mixture. Add water, mix and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes in two large greased loaf pans or three small pans, or different sized tin cans (for round bread).

Pumpkin fudge:

Recipe from cdkitchen.com

1 cup milk

3 cups sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 cup pumpkin

dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

4 tablespoons margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

In saucepan combine milk, sugar, syrup, pumpkin and salt. Cook over medium heat and when mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to simmer and cook to soft ball stage. Remove from heat and beat in cinnamon, allspice, margarine and vanilla. Allow to cool. Then beat until thick and the mixture loses its gloss. Spoon into buttered dish. When firm, cut into squares. Makes three pounds.

Marbled pumpkin cheesecake:

Recipe from recipegal.com


7 whole chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine , melted


5 ounces semisweet chocolate

24 ounces Neufachatel cream cheese, softened (*I’m sure you could substitute any cream cheese)

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick

cooking spray. Stir cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl until evenly moistened. Press over bottom of pan. Bake for eight minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate. Keep warm. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. Add sugar, cornstarch, spices and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat mixture until very well blended. Scrape bowl and beaters, add eggs and egg whites, and beat just until mixed. Add pumpkin and beat on low speed until well blended. Stir in two cups pumpkin mixture into chocolate. Reserve 1/2 cup; pour rest into crust.

Pour chocolate mixture onto pumpkin batter in a thick ring about 1/2-inch from sides of pan. Top with dollops of reserved pumpkin batter. Run a knife through both batters for a marble effect. (Don’t overdo or the effect will be muddled.)

Bake one hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Run a knife carefully around edges to release cake from pan.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours before removing pan side.

Southwestern pumpkin soup:

Recipe from www.mom-mom.com/

3 cups chicken stock

1cup whipping cream

1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy medium pot. Whisk in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese and cilantro.

Pumpkin chili:

Recipe from pumpkinnook.com

2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin

3 pounds lean ground beef

2 cans red kidney beans

2 chopped onions

3 cans cut tomatoes

2 tablespoons powdered chili

1/4 teaspoon red pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 bay leaves

1 cup mushrooms

Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat. Put ground beef into a large pot. Add each ingredient to the pot. Cook on low for one to two hours.

Places to get pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored treats:

Pumpkin latte, pumpkin frappuccino and pumpkin muffins:

Starbucks Coffee

3600 S. College Ave.

Pumpkin ice cream:

Walrus Ice Cream

125 W. Mountain Ave.

Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream

114 S. College Ave.

Cold Stone Creamery

112 W. Laurel St.

Pumpkin fudge:

Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream

114 S. College Ave.

(later in season)

Pumpkin bread:

Great Harvest Bread Company

3600 S. College Ave

Pumpkin bagels and cream cheese:

Gib’s New York Bagel

2722 S. College Ave

Fun facts about pumpkins:

*Although up for debate, most research agrees that a pumpkin, a type of squash, is a fruit.

*Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7000 years to 5500 B.C. Pumpkins were a staple in the Native American diet.

*The jack-o’-lantern custom originated in Ireland. The lantern was carved from a turnip, potato or beet and lit with a burning lump of coal or a candle. These lanterns represented the souls of the deceased on porches to welcome the dead. Other tales tell of an Irish man named “Stingy Jack” who, after trying to outwit the devil in a pub one night, was doomed to wander alone with a lantern after being refused at the gates of heaven and hell.

*The largest pumpkin weighed 1,469 pounds and was presented by Larry Checkon of the United States at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association Weigh-off on Oct. 1, 2005.

*The world’s biggest pumpkin pie recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records was created by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in New Bremen, Ohio in October of 2005. The pie weighed 2,020 pounds and measured 12 feet, 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The pie recipe included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 155 dozen eggs, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon and 2 pounds of pumpkin pie spice. (www.pumpkinook.com)

Verve editor Hallie Woods can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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