All About Pumpkins

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Pumkin Raviolis

 

Pumpkin Filling:

 

  • 2/3 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. fresh grated
  • or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. ground amaretto cookies or almond biscotti
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Dash salt

 

For sauce:

 

  • 1/4 c. butter, melted with dash fresh chopped sage, poured over hot pasta, or to above melted butter and sage, stir in 1/2 C cream and heat to hot but not boiling, pour over hot pasta
  • Make ravioli dough and press or buy pre-made.
  • Combine all filling ingredients. Use to fill ravioli dough by putting 1 tsp. of filling onto one square of dough; moisten edges (use egg wash or egg beaten with a little water), then top with another square of dough, pressing edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cook in boiling water for 6 - 8 minutes or till pasta is cooked, but firm. Drain ravioli and keep warm while preparing sauce.

 

Explore the Pumpkin Varieties

Traditional Pumpkin Bread

 

  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. walnuts (optional)
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

 

Blend oil, sugar and eggs. Stir in pumpkin. Add shifted dry ingredients. Stir in walnuts (optional). Put in greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

 

Discover

All About Pumpkins

We're well into the fall season and it's pumpkin time. You can't miss the countless varieties at curb side stands and farmer's markets.

 

We've got all the best of recipes from jams, to breads to casseroles and soups. We've even got a delicious drink recipe that's great for entertaining.

 

Ever wondered how man varieties of pumpkin's there actually are? We will educate you on all the types pumpkins and which ones are best for canning and cooking.

Pumpkin Facts

 

A pumpkin is really a squash?

 

It is! It’s a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

 

That pumpkins are grown all over the world?

 

Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in.

 

That the "pumpkin capital" of the world is Morton, Illinois?

 

This self-proclaimed pumpkin capital is where you'll find the home of the Libby corporation's pumpkin industry.

 

That the Irish brought this tradition of pumpkin carving to America?

 

The tradition originally started with the carving of turnips. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they found pumpkins a plenty and they were much easier to carve for their ancient holiday.

 

 

Fun Facts About the Pumpkin!

 

•Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

•Pumpkin flowers are edible.

•The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

•In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

•Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

•The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

•The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.

•Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

•Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

•Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.

•Native Americans called pumpkins " squash."

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.

 

The Standard Orange Variety:

 

  • Grows between 2 to 5 pounds
  • Baby Bear (small, flattened shape; fine stem)
  • Baby Pam; Oz (hybrid, very smooth skin, immature yellow color)
  • Small Sugar or New England Pie (the standard pie type)
  • Spooktacular (hybrid; bright orange; ribbed)
  • Sugar Treat (hybrid; bright color)
  • Winter Luxury (old variety, good for cooking; unique netted skin)

 

Standard Orange:

 

  • Grows between 8 to 15 pounds
  • Autumn Gold (hybrid, yellow when immature)
  • Bushkin (hybrid)
  • Frosty (hybrid; smooth-textured skin)
  • Funny Face (hybrid)
  • Harvest Moon (hybrid)
  • Jack-o-Lantern
  • Spirit (hybrid, semi-bush)
  • Young's Beauty

 

Standard Orange:

 

  • Grows between 15 to 25 pounds
  • Aspen (hybrid, deep orange, uniformly large)
  • Big Autumn (hybrid, yellow when mature)
  • Big Tom
  • Connecticut Field (the old standard)
  • Ghost Rider (dark orange; very dark green stem)
  • Happy Jack (uniform, dark orange)
  • Howden Field (the industry standard for the last 20 years)
  • Jackpot (hybrid; round)
  • Jumpin' Jack (large, dark orange, heavy, tall)
  • Pankow's Field (large, variable pumpkins with exceptionally large, long stems).

 

Rouge Vif d'Estampes

 

  • (deep red-orange, flattened, heavily sutured.
  • It was the prototype for Cinderella's carriage pumpkin and is sometimes sold as "Cinderella" pumpkin.)

 

Learn About

Selcting Pumpkins for Canning

Stew In A Pumpkin Shell

 

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 3 pounds chuck steak, cubed
  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 pints beef stock
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds raw pumpkin, cut in chunks
  • 2 cans sweet corn
  • 12 canned yellow peach halves, sliced
  • Syrup from canned peaches
  • Bouquet garni
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

 

To prepare the pumpkin, cut the top to form a lid, angle cutting so the lid will sit on and not fall in. Leave the stem for a handle. Remove the the "guts", the fibers and seeds and discard. Scoop away most of the solid flesh, leaving a sturdy wall of pumpkin, being careful not to cut through it. Measure out 2 pounds of the pumpkin flesh for the stew.

 

Brush the inside of the cleaned pumpkin with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Replace the lid and set the pumpkin aside on a baking sheet.

 

Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft but not browned. Transfer to a large saucepan. Brown the beef in the oil and add it to the onion mixture in the saucepan. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, half the stock, the bouquet garni, a little salt and plenty of pepper to the meat and onions. Cover and simmer until the meat is almost cooked. This should take about 1 hour.

At this time, put the pumpkin shell in the oven at 375 degrees. Leave it for 30 minutes, or longer if the walls are thick. But be careful not to collapse the walls. You can use a large casserole as a support for the walls.

 

Add the sweet potato, potato and pumpkin to the saucepan and cover with more stock. Return to a boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender, the potatoes are cooked, and the liquid is thickened with the dissolved pumpkin.

Stir in the sweet corn and peaches and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste, correcting the seasoning and adding a little of the peach syrup. Remover the bouquet garni and discard. Ladle the stew into the pumpkin and put back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

 

Here are the types of pumpkins great for canning and cooking:

 

  • Buckskin (hybrid)
  • Chelsey (hybrid)
  • Dickinson Field
  • Kentucky Field

 

Jumbo Pumpkins:

Grow between 50 to 100 pounds to much larger:

  • Atlantic Giant (most true giants come from this variety)
  • Big Max
  • Big Moon
  • Mammoth Gold
  • Prizewinner

 

White Painting

  • Casper
  • Lumina
  • Snowball
  • Little Boo

 

Cushaw Group

  • Green-Striped Cushaw
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tennessee
  • White Cushaw
  • Golden Cushaw

 

Naked-Seeded:

  • Trick or Treat (hybrid, 10 to 12 pounds, good for carving)
  • Tricky Jack (hybrid; small)
  • Triple Treat (thick flesh; 6 to 8 pounds; cooks, carves well)

 

Miniture Pumpkin:

  • Baby Boo (white)
  • Jack-Be-Little (standard orange miniature)
  • Jack-Be-Quick (taller, darker orange)
  • Munchkin (uniform, attractive orange)
  • Sweetie Pie (small, scalloped, medium orange)

 

 

Our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Spicy Pumpkin Bisque

 

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried ground small red chilies such as Piquins
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • grated nutmeg

 

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and transparent. Add the pumpkin, stock, Chile pepper, ground pepper, allspice, sugar, and sherry. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the half-and-half, and simmer until heated. Garnish with the nutmeg and serve.

 

This soup can be served either hot or cold. Serve it hot with grilled fish and seasoned green beans or cold as a luncheon entree with a crisp salad.

 

Delicious Pumpkin Biscuits

 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (cooked or canned)
  • 3/4 cup milk

 

Sift flour into mixing bowl. Stir in remaining dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pumpkin and milk to form a soft dough. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with biscuit cutter. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 24 to 30 biscuits, depending on dough texture and cutter size.

 

Pumpkin Dip

 

  • 2 packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Pumpkin Butter

 

  • 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 

Combine pumpkin, apple, apple juice, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with buttermilk biscuits, breads, corn muffins or hot cereal. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

 

Pumpkin Jam

 

  • 1 each Medium Pumpkin
  • 3 LB Sugar
  • 4 each Lemons
  • 4 each Oranges

 

Cut up and dice 1 medium pumpkin For 2 bowls of pumpkin use 1 bowl of sugar. Cut up 4 lemons and 4 oranges. Combine pumpkin, lemon and orange and cover with the sugar. Let stand over night. Next day, mix well and cook until pumpkin is clear. Pack in sterile jars and seal immediately.

 

Pumpkin Cassoulet with Caramelized Onions & Roasted Garlic

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cans (14 oz./440 g each) cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 lb. (1 kg) baking pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup (2 oz./60 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cut the garlic heads in half crosswise and wrap the halves together in a piece of foil. Bake until the garlic cloves are soft, about 45 minutes. Cool, then squeeze the cloves from the cut halves into a bowl, discarding the papery skins. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring, until they soften. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat and stir in 1 Tbs. of water if necessary to keep the onions from sticking. Stir in the beans, pumpkin, broth, thyme, 1⁄4 tsp. salt, 1⁄8 tsp. pepper and the reserved garlic.

Cover and bake until the pumpkin is tender, about 1 hour. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Uncover the cassoulet (or, if desired, transfer to individual ovenproof serving dishes) and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Return the cassoulet to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the bread crumbs are browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well: New Ways to Enjoy Foods You Love, by Charity Ferreira