It's that time of year when all the cans of pumpkin I've been hoarding for months move to the front of the cabinet and get turned into delicious desserts, soups and other foods. (Yes, it's true that I often buy a can or two as I shop throughout the year - because I don't want to risk another Thanksgiving without a stock of pumpkin, like many of us endured a couple years ago when the pumpkin crop was so bad. Remember that?) So here are a few of my family's favorite recipes, each of them made several times over throughout the autumn. And who can deny the health benefits of the orange squash? Not this mom. Even my cats get a lick of the golden vitamin A.
What's your family favorite? Send it to us at email@example.com and we'll share it online.
1. Pumpkin Pie (After all these years and all the taste testers, everyone always says this is the best. And yes, it's the one on the back of the can.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1+ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2+ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4+ teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
2. Pumpkin Cookies (This recipe originally called for a glaze, but my kids like them just as much without it. And I always up the spice - yum!)
Makes 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2+ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2+ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2+ teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
3. Easy Pumpkin Soup (This easy, healthy soup is a hit with the kids - and it's gorgeous!)
3/4 cup water, divided
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup water over medium heat.
Add remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don't boil.
4. And when it's time for roasting pumpkin seeds, try Dian's popular pumpkin seed recipe:
Rinse pumpkin seeds with water until clean of pulp, put seeds in a container and cover with water, add salt to make the water very salty.
Cover container and put in the refrigerator overnight.
Strain off water and place seeds, single layer on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees approximately 30 minute or until golden brown and crispy.
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