From Asia to the Middle East, Mexico to the United States, cuisines the world over use pumpkin in a dizzying variety of ways. We've collected recipes and tips for Halloween celebrations and beyond.
- Use the Whole Pumpkin
For a festive touch, try serving soup in bowls made from hollowed-out pumpkins: Cut tops off several small pumpkins, remove seeds, and scrape inside walls clean. Wash thoroughly with warm water, place pumpkins on a baking sheet, and bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes until hot (this will help keep the soup warm). Ladle soup into "bowls" and serve.
- Save Larger Pumpkins for Carving
For cooking, look for small sugar pumpkins rather than the larger ones used for jack-o'-lanterns. The smaller varieties are sweeter, fleshier, and less watery.
- Use Pure Pumpkin
For many baked goods, canned pumpkin purée is as good or better than fresh. Look for cans labeled "solid-pack" rather than "pumpkin pie filling" (which has other ingredients added).
- Prep the Crust
When making cream or custard pies, it's helpful to partially bake the bottom crust before filling. This is called "blind baking" and helps ensure that moisture from the filling doesn't make the crust soggy. To blind-bake a crust, lightly prick the bottom all over with a fork (this will prevent air bubbles from forming). Line with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans (these will keep the dough flat during baking). Bake until pale golden, remove weights, then fill and bake again, covering edges with foil to prevent overbrowning.
- Select the Right Seeds
When a recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, generally they're the hulled green variety called pepitas that are used in Mexican cooking and available in many supermarkets and health food stores. The unhulled seeds obtained when carving a jack-o'-lantern can also be eaten-they're delicious toasted and sprinkled with salt. Simply separate from the pulp, rinse, drain, and roast.
Breads and Breakfasts
- Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Bread
- Ginger-Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin-Walnut Flapjacks
- Pumpkin Waffles
- Pumpkin Doughnuts with Powdered Sugar Glaze and Spiced Sugar Doughnut Holes(see recipe below)
- Spiced Pumpkin Loaves with Whipped Cream
Soups, Starters, and Sides
- Curried Pumpkin Bisque with Cheddar Cheese
- Silky-Coconut Pumpkin Soup (Keg Bouad Mak Fak Kham)
- Pumpkin and Fennel Pastries
- Warm Pumpkin Salad with Polenta and Candied Pumpkin Seeds
- Pumpkin Dumplings
- Pumpkin Cannelloni with Clams and Sage Brown Butter
- Fettuccine with Pumpkin, Shiitakes and Mascarpone
- Pan-Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto
- Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust
- Pumpkin-Pecan Pie with Whiskey Butter Sauce
- Frozen Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut-Toffee Crunch
- Pumpkin Flan with Pumpkin Seed Praline
- Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Caramel
- Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake with Sage Ice Cream and Pumpkin Cherry Compote
- Pollo en Pipian Verde
- Pumpkin-Seed-Crusted Trout
- Spicy Roasted Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- Chicken in Green Pumpkin-Seed Sauce
- Spiced Pumpkin-Seed Flatbread
- Pumpkin Seed Brittle
PUMPKIN DOUGHNUTS WITH POWDERED SUGAR GLAZE AND SPICED SUGAR DOUGHNUT HOLES
Bon Appétit | October 2004
Yield: Makes about 24 doughnuts and 24 doughnut holes
Use a clip-on deep-fry thermometer to gauge the oil temperature when frying these doughnuts: too low and they'll absorb oil, turning leaden and soggy; too high and they'll burn before the insides are cooked through.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
- Canola oil (for deep-frying)
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Whipping cream
For spiced sugar:
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.
For powdered sugar glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.