Pumpkin: It's A Holiday Tradition

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For pottage and puddings, and custards and pies,

Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies.

We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon;

If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.

This old verse, dating from era of the first Thanksgiving, points out the importance of pumpkins in the daily life of the colonists- not to mention a few differences in pronunciation.

No matter how you say it, however, pumpkin is a delicious and traditional part of the holiday season. On top of that, canned pumpkin makes baking a pumpkin pie almost as easy as pie.

It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without pumpkin on the menu. Today's recipes offer a few variations on traditional choices. The recipes include: Tawny Pumpkin Pie, Frozen Ginger Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Mince Pie, Pumpkin Chiffon Meringue.

TAWNY PUMPKIN PIE

1-1/4 c. pumpkin, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. flour, 2 eggs, slightly beaten, 1 c. evaporated milk, 2 T. water, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 9-in. unbaked pie shell

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in mixing bowl. Add eggs: mix well. Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix. Pour into pastry lined pie pan. Bake in preheated hot oven (425) for 15 minutes; reduce heat to moderate (350) and bake for 35 minutes longer or until set. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

FROZEN GINGER PUMPKIN PIE

1 pt. vanilla ice cream, 1/4 c. candied ginger, chopped, baked 9-in. pie shell, 1 c. canned pumpkin, 1 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1-1/2 c. mini marshmallows, 1 c. heavy cream, whipped, chopped nuts, marzipan (optional)

Stir ice cream to soften. Quickly fold in chopped ginger and spread in pie shell. Freeze until firm. Mix pumpkin, sugar, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in marshmallows. Fold in cream. Pile on ice cream layer and sprinkle with nuts. Freeze until firm. To serve, remove from freezer and let stand in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. Top with marzipan, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

PUMPKIN MINCE PIE

unbaked 10-in pie crust, 1 pkg. dry mincemeat, 1 c. boiling water, 1-1/2 c. canned pumpkin, 3/4 to 1 c. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 14 oz. evaporated milk, 2 T. butter, 2 eggs, few drops lemon extract, 1 egg white stiffly beaten

Line a deep 10-inch pie pan with pastry. Chill. Break mincemeat into saucepan. Cook in boiling water for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool; then chill. Mix pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices in another saucepan. Stir in milk; add butter; heat until butter is melted. Pour over slightly beaten eggs; add flavoring. Strain onto stiffly beaten egg whites and mix. Cool. Spread mincemeat in bottom of pastry lined pan; pour pumpkin mixture over top. Bake in preheated hot oven (500 degrees) for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to slow (325) and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes or until set. Makes 8 servings.

PUMPKIN CHIFFON MERINGUE

1 envelope unflavored gelatin, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/2 c. milk, 2 eggs, separated, 1/4 c. sugar, 1-1/4 c. canned pumpkin, 1/2 c. toasted almonds, 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped

Combine gelatin, brown sugar, salt, and spices in top part of a double boiler. Stir in slightly beaten egg yolks, milk, and pumpkin. Cook over hot water for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; chill until slightly thickened. Beat egg whites until foamy; add granulated sugar, 1 T. at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating until stiff peaks form; fold into pumpkin mixture. Fold in whipped cream and almonds. Turn into cooked meringue shell; chill for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Meringue Shell: Beat 3 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat in 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar. Gradually beat in 3/4 c. sugar and continue beating until very stiff. Spread over bottom and up sides of greased 9-in. pie pan. Bake in preheated very slow oven (275) for about 1-1/4 hours.