It Wouldn't Be Fall Without Pumpkins - Meatless Monday with Katie Cizewski

What marks the beginning of fall? Is it the passing of Labor Day weekend? Is it the fall equinox? Is it the yellow and orange leaves falling from the trees in the park? Nope. It's the appearance of pumpkins in all of the green markets, supermarkets and delis. Well, to be honest, maybe the beginning of fall can be marked by all of these things but this post to welcome in the new season is all about pumpkins so we'll stick with that. Pumpkins are originally from North America but they are eaten today in just about every country from Italy to Indian and from Japan to New Zealand. Pumpkins can be baked, steamed, mashed, roasted, fried, or made into soup.  They can be sweet or savory but the way that pumpkins are best known around here is in pumpkin pie. And it wouldn't be fall without a warm slice of pumpkin pie topped with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

Making pumpkin pie from scratch - not a can - sounds like a daunting task but it is not.  In fact, the basic pie crust may prove to be more of a challenge than the filling. All you need to do to make pumpkin pie filling is bake a sugar pumpkin for an hour, remove the pulp, mash it up, and combine it with a few simple ingredients (ingredients that you would have had to use had you gone with canned pumpkin anyway). Here are all the ingredients for pumpkin pie filling:

  • 1 sugar pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

And it really is that easy, just bake, mash, and combine. Why not give it a whirl? You know there's no shortage of pumpkins around now that it's fall. Just make sure it's a sugar pumpkin and not a grizzly Jack-o-lantern - one of those might be a little hard to work with in the kitchen.