ANN BAILEY: Pumpkins good not just for pie, decorEach spring my family plants a couple of varieties of pumpkin and squash seeds. Depending on the growing season, we harvest from a few to several dozen pumpkins and squash in the fall.
By: Ann Bailey, Grand Forks Herald
Each spring my family plants a couple of varieties of pumpkin and squash seeds. Depending on the growing season, we harvest from a few to several dozen pumpkins and squash in the fall.
Last summer, growing conditions were ideal and we harvested about 100 pumpkins. There were enough to give to family, friends and the fourth- and eighth-grade classes at Larimore (N.D.) Elementary and Larimore High School and still have enough for ourselves.
This spring, we put our garden in late and the first few weeks of the summer were cool, so we harvested about half as many pumpkins as last year. Even so, we had enough to carve and plenty left over to share.
Unlike many people who have their pumpkins decorating their front steps for much of October, we wait until a couple of days before Halloween to carve our jack-o-lanterns. That’s because Maggie, our yellow Lab, can’t resist chewing on the pumpkins or running off with the tops if we set them outside. Instead, we put the jack-o-lanterns in our enclosed porch and try to run interference when Maggie is in the same room with them.
Although, the decorating season for pumpkins is short at our house, I cook with pumpkin (canned) and squash (fresh), for months after Halloween. Recipes for the two vegetables abound this time of year.
One of my favorite pumpkin recipes is a lightened version of frosted pumpkin cake. Here is the recipe:
Frosted pumpkin cake
Ingredients for cake:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix (such as Betty Crocker)
2/3 cup (6 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray, dust with flour.
To prepare cake, place the egg substitute, granulated sugar, apple sauce and canned pumpkin in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for one minute. Add the pie spice and cake mix, beating at high speed for two minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a wooden spoon inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until blended (Do not overbeat). Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.
Although, I typically simply bake squash and then scoop it out of the shell and mix in a little brown sugar and butter before serving it for dinner, I recently saw a recipe for buttercup squash coffee cake that looks like it would pair well with a weekend morning cup of coffee. Here is the recipe:
Buttercup squash coffee cake
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed, cooked buttercup squash
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons hot water
Combine the first six ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in squash and vanilla. Combine the remaining dry ingredients for the cake, gradually add to creamed mixture.
Spoon half of batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan. Spread applesauce over batter. Sprinkle with half of the streusel.
Spoon remaining batter evenly over streusel. Top with remaining streusel.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove sides of pan.
Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake.
Reach Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 779-8093.