It’s been months – I’m surprised Beth hasn’t shot me or Fubs yet, which heightens my guilt – but it’s time for more Noms with the Numbles!
Autumn is my favorite time of year. The crisp chill in the air, the changing and falling of the leaves (jumping in said fallen leaves), Halloween…..and seasonal baking.
I love to bake. Fubsy is now well aware of this (and so are our waistlines), but at this time of year it becomes an obsession, a compulsion….look, if an over-abundance of sugar and spice in our kitchen ever became a euphemism for martial infidelity Fubsy would have alimony for the rest of his days. And I’d be okay with that because hello, baking slore.
But before we even get to the glory that is Thanksgiving and Christmas–OMG CHRISTMAS COOKIES I’M ALREADY ON THE HUNT FOR RECIPES–we have to get through October, which every American baker knows means pumpkin and apple everygatdamnthing!
It’s near to impossible to find canned pumpkin puree here in the UK. I did manage to get a hold of a tin at Selfridges, or the Bloomingdale’s for Brits, but that mofo cost me £6 GBP, which is freaking $9.60 in USD right now; the fugg I look like paying that much money just so I can keep that ish in the cabinet for a year…..not that I did that, nope…..but anyway, the UK is finally getting into the sugar-coated glory that is Halloween, which means American-style sugar pumpkins are now up for grabs in some of the major supermarkets. This year I’ve gone through two pumpkins (plus that can y’all can’t prove that I bought last year) after finally roasting my first pumpkin last year. And let me tell you, I’m not going back to the canned stuff – fresh roasted pumpkin is everything. EVERYTHING, YOU NON-BELIEVERS! *deep breath* Plus it’s dead easy to do. All you need is a small sugar pumpkin (2-3 lbs); split that joker in half, remove the seeds/membrane and place the two halves cut side down in a roasting pan lined with baking parchment. Roast at 350 degrees for a good hour.
I did 45 mins the first time, but the second time I lost track and it went for an hour…I just knew it’d be burnt! The color was definitely deeper but the flavor was so much more intense! I’ll be doing that from now on which is why I’m recommending it here.
As for recipes, there is NO END to what you can do pumpkin. Baking is only the sweet, sweet beginning. Remember, when you’re baking you can always substitute flours/sugars/fats as long as you keep the measurements the same:
Pumpkin Pie/Tart/Whatever: Filling (I used single cream instead of evaporated milk) –
Pumpkin Syrup (yes, syrup…for your coffee, hoes!)
Chipotle Chicken Pumpkin Soup (I did say you ain’t need to bake, didn’t I? I added the corn to my bowl only, Fubsy ABHORS corn in any form and got pickled jalapenos instead. I also used a bit less chipotle, fresh grated cheddar instead of a blend and I would probably add zucchini next time; remember cooking doesn’t need to be as exact as baking!)
Lastly, I made muffins. I could probably make some form of muffins or pancakes for breakfast every weekend and Fubsy would be happily content. I cobbled/adapted this batch from more than one recipe so it’s pretty much my own at this point:
Pumpkin Muffins with Hazlenut Streusel topping
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wholemeal/whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg (fresh if you have it)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
1/3 cup water/milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup hazenuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper baking cups or butter and dust with flour.
Streusel: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, dark brown sugar, salt, and chopped pistachios. Using your fingertips, mix in the butter, pressing the mixture between your fingers until the mixture is pebbly. Set aside.
Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, spices and salt. In a large bowl, whisk in both sugars, pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, oil and extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture is only just combined. It will be lumpy but that will bake out; overmixing will make the muffins tough.
Fill the baking cups 2/3 full (I like my 3/4 for higher muffins), then sprinkle on a good bit of the streusel topping. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes or as long as you can hold out for.
Makes up to 12 muffins (I say “up to” because I only got 10 by filling them as high as I did)
Let me know if you try one of the recipes, and apologies to my girl Beth again for the riduculous lateness of this post (notice I ain’t say Slaus……I ain’t scared of McFluffy!)!