By Engrid Winslow
Yep, we can tell we are here in fall because THE place to be on the weekends is in the pumpkin patch! Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes and a link to one for our furry companions who love to romp in falling leaves and go on walks with us in the crisp fall air!
PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER
Of the pumpkin recipes, this one makes a delicious combination of fall flavors into a creamy “butter” (which contains zero butter and is very low in sugar) which is delicious on toast, biscuits, and scones or packaged into a gift basket for friends and neighbors during the Holiday Season. The best pumpkins for making a butter or pie are the small sweet ones like Sugar Pie or Cinderella.
Makes about 4 ½ cups but can be doubled or tripled if you want more to share with friends and family
2 cups unsweetened applesauce (canned or homemade)
2 cups pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade – not pumpkin pie filling)
¼ cup apple cider
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 TBL honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
Heavy pinch of ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often to make sure that sauce doesn’t scorch and sides of the saucepan stay clean until mixture is reduced by at least one third. It should also darken in color to a caramel brown with an orange tinge. Process using water bath canning, which will keep for about 6 months [www.freshpreserving.com/canning-101-getting-started.html] or place in the refrigerator to use within 2 months or freeze for up to 12 months.
Serves at least 4
When you replace tomato with pumpkin you create a delicious and meltingly mellow version of traditional Italian Bolognese. Use lots of black pepper to temper the richness of this sauce.
2 lbs pumpkin, unpeeled and cut into large wedges with seeds scraped out
Brush the pumpkins with olive oil and place them on a foil-lined sheet pan to roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let cool and then scrape flesh into a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and cook down at medium heat, stirring often until the pumpkin has reduced and is the thickness of tomato paste. This step will take about 20 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven heat 3 Tbl olive oil and add ½ lb ground pork and 1 lb ground beef over medium-high heat. Stir and break up chinks so that the meat is no longer pink. Just lightly brown it – we don’t want a crust on the meat. Remove and set aside. Add 1 cup finely chopped carrot, ½ cup finely chopped celery and 1/2 cup finely chopped onion to Dutch oven and season with 1 tsp salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. When the vegetables start to look like they are browning, reduce the heat to medium-low but keep cooking, stirring until they are fragrant and softened but not browned – about 10 more minutes.
Return meat to the pan and add 1 cup dry white wine and simmer until wine is reduced and almost completely gone – about 10 minutes. Fold in the pumpkin puree and 1 cup milk. Add more salt and pepper to taste and reduce heat to a low simmer for 45 minutes to one hour.
Serve with cooked Tagliatelle pasta and grated Parmigiano Romano
Pumpkin Dog Treats
And here’s a link to some amazing dog treats that my dogs have been enjoying for years: