At Halloween, carved pumpkins line sidewalks and porches, but pumpkins are for more than just carving. Pumpkin’s best-known baking use is pie, but fresh pureed pumpkin is versatile and can be cooked in a variety of other ways, including pancakes.
How to get started:
- Pick your pumpkin. Typically, baking or pie pumpkins are much smaller than carving pumpkins. I prefer Jarrahdale pumpkins; they have a flat and ribbed shape with a bluish green color on the outside and deep orange color on the inside. Their inside flesh looks similar in color to a cantaloupe and is almost as sweet, too. Pumpkins are best picked after the first frost of autumn.
- Wash the outside of the pumpkin, cut in half and remove seeds.
- Bake at 350 degrees, checking at 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes until soft, and remove from oven. Or cut into smaller slices and steam on the stovetop until soft. It’s soft enough when you can stick a fork into the pumpkin and it slides in and out easily.
- Remove the fleshy fruit from the skin with a spoon or paring knife and put it in a blender or food processor. Puree, adding a little water if needed to help get a smooth consistency.
- Choose a recipe or freeze for later use. To freeze: measure portion (I measure based on my recipe needs – 1/2 cup, 1 cup, etc.), put in freezer bag, seal and put in freezer.
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I use a mix of light and dark brown sugars)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (can substitute with cooking oil)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
chocolate or fruit as desired
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl lightly beat eggs with oil. Add milk, pumpkin and vanilla to egg mixture. Stir liquid ingredients into dry mixture with a whisk until slightly lumpy.
Two cooking methods:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill lightly greased cupcake trays half full with batter or 1/3 full with batter and add chocolate or fruit. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown (insert a toothpick in the center, and when it’s done it should come out clean).
- Heat a lightly greased griddle over medium-low heat. Add chocolate or fruit to the batter. For each pancake pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook until golden, turn when tops are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (1-2 minutes per side).
Makes about 10 pancakes on the griddle or 24 muffin pancakes.