Look Charlene Brownavich, it’s the kinda great pumpkin thingy

Look Charlene Brownavich, it’s the kinda great pumpkin thingy

Okay – I’m not a fan. I see all these great recipes during the fall for pumpkin this and pumpkin that,  and momentarily I may be intrigued… but when you get right down to it, it’s all around pretty disgusting. There’s very little you can do with it to eliminate that faint “pooty” odor that seems inherent with the innards…. and me and “pooty” just aren’t friends.

It’s kind of like when I had a restaurant downtown. My lead cook was an elderly black woman who could seriously throw down on some soul food. We’d compare note on recipes for ox tail,  short ribs, succotash, and the like. During one of these exchanges she asked how I felt about chitlins (in case you dont know – chitlins, or chitterlings are braised pig intestines, slow cooked with onions and celery. ) I replied that I didn’t care for them… I think my exact words were, “I don’t care what you do to them, they still taste like crap (except I used that other word)…” She insisted I just hadn’t had good ones, and the rest of my staff chimed in that Mama made the best chitlins in Atlanta. Hmmm... I agreed to buy a bucket (yes, they come in a big white bucket) of them for her to prepare. I had an open mind about it – maybe I hadn’t eaten “good” ones before… but no, I think what you get with chitlins is just about as good as it gets.
Maybe I’m just super sensitive – but, I’m here to tell you, there isn’t enough pepper, onions and celery in world to mask pig butt.

… but I digress….

… the point of all that up there, it’s that same  business end of a pig odor that puts me off pumpkin… normally.

Back around Halloween, I picked up a selections of hard squashes, gourds and  mini pumpkins to festive up the kitchen and table for the holidays. They were cute, they were fun and by Christmas I had really grown tired of dressing them up like elves and roundish Christmas presents… besides, they weren’t any closer to rotting so I could throw them out.

I was stuck doing something with them.

A while back I wrote about apple butter muffins and gave you the recipe. I assumed most people would just go out and buy a jar of apple butter if they wanted to make it. However, one gentle reader gave me a severe lashing because I didn’t tell you how to make it from scratch…

So, before I get to the other things I made with pumpkin butter, I’ll give you the recipe for your very own jar of pumpkin butter – besides, most store versions of it are really over-spiced for my taste, and mine is more delicate.

Pumpkin Butter
Makes 2 Pints
Ingredients
2 Cups Unsweetened Pumpkin Pulp, Cooked
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Clove, Crushed
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Honey
Medium Sauce Pan
Spatula
Stick Blender

  • Place all the ingredients in the sauce pan over medium high heat
  • Hit with the stick blender until smooth and homogeneous
  • Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to low
  • Simmer on low for 45 minutes or until the puree reduces in half
  • Set off heat and allow to cool completely before using

Pumpkin Butter Pound Cake
Makes 3 Mini Loaves, or 1 12″ Tube Cake
Ingredients
1 Cup Currants
1 Cup Water + 2 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
1 Cup Margarine
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
5 Eggs – Beaten
1 2/3 Cups Pumpkin Butter (See Recipe Below)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
3 Cups AP Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Mace
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
Small Sauce Pan
3 Mini Loaf Pans or 12 Cup Tube Pan
Cooking Spray
Spatula

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Add currants, water and the first amount of Whiskey to the sauce pan, bring to a boil, remove from the heat and allow the currants to plump.
  • In the mixing bowl, cream the margarine until light and fluffy
  • Add the sugar and incorporate well
  • Add the beaten eggs a bit at a time until they are all incorporated.
  • Scrape the bowl down periodically
  • Stir the remaining whiskey and the pumpkin butter
  • In the mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients
  • With the mixer on low, add the flour mix to the butter mix  a little at a time, and mix until smooth
  • Remove the bowl and fold in the plumped currants
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake a 350 for60 to 65 minutes. (It’s done when the tester comes out clean)
  • Let cake cool in the pans until just warm
  • Sprinkle Powdered Sugar after completely cool
Pumpkin Butter Log
Makes 1 Log
Ingredients  
3 Large Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 AP Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Pumpkin Butter
Filling
1 8 Ounce Tub Tofutti Cream Cheese Substitute (Keep Chilled)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons smart Balance Margerine
Wax Paper
Cooking Spray
2 Medium Mixing Bowls
9″ x 12″ Baking Pan
Spatulas
Whisk
Tea Towel
Plastic Wrap
  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Mix first 6 ingredients in one of the bowls
  • Beat with a whisk by hand until smooth.
  • Prepare the well greased baking pan 9 x 12 inch and cover bottom with wax paper.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Lay the tea towel on the counter and sprinkle with powered sugar
  • when the cake is ready, turn out cake onto the towel
  • Remove the wax paper
  • Carefully roll the cake and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • Cream the filling ingredients by hand until smooth.
  • Remove the rolled cake from the fridge
  • Carefully open the roll and spread the filling evenly over the entire surface
  • Roll the cake again, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve
Roast Pumpkin Curry
Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients
3 Cups Peeled and Diced Pumpkin
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Can Coconut Milk
2 Medium Tomatoes, Seeded and Diced
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/4 Cup Parsley, Minced
1 Teaspoon Salt
Dash Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Medium Mixing Bowl
9″ x 12″ Roasting Pan
  • Preheat over to 385
  • Place all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and toss thoroughly to make sure everything is well coated
  • Transfer to the roasting pan
  • Place in a hot oven for 45 minutes – or until the pumpkin is fork tender and most of the liquid is absorbed
  • Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before serving

 

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