Fall is officially here. (Yay!) For those of us getting ready to take on the beautiful season, starting with a few pumpkin-inspired recipes is just the key to doing autumn right. Find a few of my favorite must-try pumpkin recipes below and happy cooking femmes!
Pork & Pumpkin Stew
This recipe comes highly recommended from one of my foodie friends who serves it at least once a month during the colder months! The original recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma; so you know it has to be good! Add or omit ingredients as you see fit for taste & enjoy with some hearty Italian bread.
- 2 lb. boneless pork shoulder – cut into ½ to 1 inch cubes
- Salt & pepper for taste
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion – diced
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
- 2 tsp. chicken demi-glace
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1.8 tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ Tbs. cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. applesauce
- 9 oz. canned diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 lb. peeled and diced (3/4 inch diced) pumpkin or winter squash
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Season the pork with salt & pepper. In a 3 ½ quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides (8-10 minutes per batch).
- Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stiffing occasionally until tender (6-8 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, demi-glace, tomato paste, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the vinegar, applesauce, tomatoes with juice, pumpkin, sage, stock and pork. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork is fork-tender (2-2 ½ hours).
Pumpkin Flower Quesadillas
Pumpkin flower, or flor de calabasa, quesadillas are one of my family’s favorite type of quesadillas – but are a rarity since pumpkin flower is relatively hard to come by. I remember many pumpkin picking excursions where my mother would scour through the pumpkin patch for pumpkin flowers to make her famous quesadillas; most often coming out empty-handed. Miraculously, I found some for sale recently at the Italian market and scooped them right up! This tasty treat can be served as a whole meal or with a side of rice or soup!
- Pumpkin flower (one stem per quesadilla)
- Oaxaca cheese (or your favorite quesadilla cheese); put in as desired
- ¼ diced onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- Olive oil
- Tortillas (two per quesadilla)
- In an olive oil soaked pan, sauté the onion and garlic. After both are golden brown add in the pumpkin flower, whole or cut.
- In a different pan, lightly warm the tortillas. Once they are malleable, add the cheese and pumpkin flower mix between two tortillas. Heat until cheese has melted.
Who doesn’t love a lovely spread, especially on homemade scones?! This pumpkin butter comes from Martha Stewart herself, and it is as simple as it is delicious. This treat also makes a great gift!
- 2 pounds peeled, seeded, and diced sugar pie pumpkin (substitute canned if needed)
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Combine pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and salt in in a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Continue simmering until the mixture starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot and heat for 10 minutes on low until it reaches desired thickness. Remove, cool, and serve.
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
Pumpkin mac and cheese; what more needs to be said?
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 1-2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese or cheese medley
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk, heated
- Salt & Pepper
- Pasta (as desired)
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Slowly add in the pumpkin, cheese, flour, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the milk while stirring the sauce until you reach your desired consistency.
- In a separate pot cook pasta (elbow macaroni works best).
- Toss cooked elbow macaroni and sauce combination into buttered baking dish. Top with more grated cheese and bake in a 375° oven until bubbling and browned on top, about 20 minutes.
This twist on the traditional hummus snack can be combined with a chickpeas or without. Extra points for those of you who serve this snack in a hollowed-out pumpkin!
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- (Optional: 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas for a more traditional hummus)
- In a food processor, purée together the (chickpeas) canned pumpkin, tahini, garlic, parsley, ground cumin, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
- Feel free to add chili powder and/or other spices as desired!
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
This traditional pumpkin pie recipe hails from the New York Times; often considered the holy grail of classic recipes.
- Pie crust (either store bought; or make your own if you’re super fancy)
- 1 3/4 cups squash or pumpkin purée
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Pinch ground clove
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, cream, dark brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and clove.
- Pour mixture into pie shell. Transfer pie to a large baking sheet.
- Bake until crust is golden and center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 50 to 60 minutes.
For when you’re wiped out and need a cocktail after cooking all those pumpkin recipes…
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 ounce maple syrup
- Orange peel twist (for garnish)
- In a cocktail shaker combine the pumpkin, bourbon, syrup, Grand Marnier and bitters.
- Shake, strain and enjoy!