Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today I Baked A Pumpkin

Or, to be absolutely honest with you, today I baked a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (or Squash). That's what one does when the roads are incredibly icy and you don't have to go about your normal morning duties/routines, right?

This year was the first for Long Island Cheese's in my garden. In fact, I kinda just tucked the one plant behind a bunch of perennials. In my actual vegetable garden, I grow butternut squash, my absolute favorite winter squash but a close relative to the Long Island Cheese. But I may have to grow less of them and put in another of these, because not only do they taste wonderful but they make the prettiest looking fall decorations (people didn't even think they were real!).

Now, this year, I probably went over board on squashes. Or it was just the year for them. Regardless, I harvested 22 butternut squashes and a couple of Long Island's that were each about 6-8 lbs. I probably have enough to last me through a good portion of next year since we don't eat them every week. Or maybe we're going to have to start. Either way, come April or May, I'll have to process and freeze whatever is left.

So, back to today. I managed to cut one of the Long Island's open and baked it at 375 for about an hour on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet after cleaning out the inside. Then I let it cool down. After it had cooled, I used a paring knife and cut of the outer skin (easier I think, than scooping it out with these types of squash). In two batches, I pureed the squash with no added liquid. What I was left with was 3 15oz. cans worth of puree plus one cup. I froze two cans worth and made one pie and one batch of muffins. I can't vouch for the pie yet but the muffins were AWESOME! Here is the recipe I worked off of (and of course, I'll tell you what I changed).

From Food Network's Ellie Krieger

Pumpkin Muffins:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

Now, I didn't have molasses so I substituted another tablespoon of brown sugar and poured a little maple syrup in the batter. Sorry, I didn't measure but I'm guessing it was about 2 tablespoons. :) Also, I didn't have any pumpkin seeds to place on top so I simply omitted that. The recipe made 12 very nice sized muffins that I think turned out very visually appealing. Here's a picture:

And because, I took a picture of the pie too:

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