We've had a bit of an Indian Summer in Philadelphia. As Fall has fallen, the 80 degree weather hasn't stopped me from craving some of my favorite Fall harvests. When I saw sugar pumpkin on sale at market, I was giddy to break it down and make the most of it. I think people generally have only ever carved a pumpkin for Halloween to let it rot on their stoop. However there is so much goodness waiting inside! With one pumpkin I made Pumpkin Curry, a Pumpkin pie, half a dozen cupcakes and a whole mess of Cinnamon toasted Pumpkin seeds! I'll assume you're an expert at cutting open the pumpkin, you can tackle it the old fashion way and cut the top and scoop the guts out, or you can halve it and have easier access. I can't tell you what a difference using fresh pumpkin was in this recipe as opposed to the canned variety. Pumpkins also have a great shelf life of around 2 months! So stock up on these fall goodies, throw them on the table or stairs as a festive reminder of the season and use them as you get to them.
Sugar Pumpkin Hand-Pies with Ginger Snap Crust
makes about 24 hand pies
2 cups fresh sugar pumpkin, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon good cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground clove, caramon
Peel & quarter pumpkin. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until tender and mash. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Beat eggs and pour over pumpkin mash, add dry ingredients. Stir in cream and blend till combined. Set aside.
Ginger Snap Crust-
2 cups gingersnap crumbs, homemade is best (Sweetzels of Philadelphia is my favorite store bought brand)
1/4 cup brown sugar
a dash flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
Combine all dry ingredients and slowly stir in melted butter. In two cupcake pans with liners, press crumb mixture to the bottom of each liner, about a tablespoon. Pour about a 1/4 cup of filling into each cup. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until a knife comes out from the center clean. Let cool. Top with whipped cream, pumpkin seeds or ice cream!