My favorite season is upon us. Harvest, maple leaves, candy, costumes, bonfires, football, hoodies, and best of all, all things PUMPKIN. Spiced lattes for everyone, bartender! Nothing signals the fall of humidity and mosquitos like that orange sludge from a can. Seriously, canned pumpkin is magical, and it’s perfectly acceptable to use in place of the fresh behemoth.
In fact, canned pumpkin puree is a blend of winter squashes, and the one type of squash you won't find in a can is the standard field pumpkin that's used for making Halloween jack-o'-lanterns. But once you carve a pumpkin into the jack-o-lantern, do roast the seeds! While edible, this type of squash isn't particularly good for eating no matter how it's cooked or pureed. Beware, don’t confuse pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is a mixture of cooked, mashed winter squash that is blended with sweetener and spices.
So go stock up on those magical cans and try the following two recipes. I’m no professional baker, but scones are easy and fun, and perfect with that pumpkin spice latte. And the Thai pumpkin noodle dish is a one pot wonder, taking soup to the next level as the starch from the noodles transforms liquid to sauce. Cheers to autumn!
PUMPKIN SCONE INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup very cold salted butter, diced
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup buttermilk (or milk), plus extra for brushing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
VANILLA GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons buttermilk (or milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ginger or cardamom
Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt until evenly combined.
Cut in the butter. Add the diced butter and use a pastry cutter or two forks (or a food processor, see below) to cut the butter evenly into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter forms no larger than pea-sized chunks.
Add in the wet ingredients. Add in the pumpkin purée, milk and vanilla extract. Then use a spatula to quickly and gently stir the mixture until no dry streaks remain. (Try to avoid over-mixing.)
Shape the scones. Turn the mixture out onto a flour-dusted surface and fold the dough over on itself a few times until it holds together and can form a ball. (The dough will be a bit sticky, so don’t worry.) Pat the dough down flat into an 8-inch circle. Transfer the disk to a dinner plate and cover with plastic wrap. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes or so while your oven heats. Heat the oven to 425.
Once out of freezer, use a large knife or bench scraper to slice the dough into 8 equal-sized pie wedges. (You may need to wipe off your knife between slices if the dough is sticky.) Place wedges onto parchment paper-covered baking sheet, about two inches apart.
Briefly brush the top of each scone with a bit of buttermilk. Then transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden on top and cooked through. Transfer to a wire baking rack to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until combined. (If the mixture seems too thin, add more powdered sugar.) Then once the scones have cooled a bit, brush or drizzle the glaze on top of the scones.
One Pot Thai Pumpkin Noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons red curry paste (or green or yellow)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 (15-ounce) cans pumpkin purée
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 ounces thin rice noodles
optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, pepitas, sliced red onions
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add curry paste and stir to combine.
Add remaining ingredients except noodles. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low. Add noodles and stir occasionally to separate noodles. Give the soup a taste, and add extra salt, pepper, sweetener, and/or red curry paste if needed. Serve warm, sprinkled generously with your favorite toppings.
-both recipes adapted from Gimme Some Oven
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