Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still more pumpkins

Chilly, grey, not quite fall day, and I've still got 2 30" pumpkins on the vine and 4 cups in the fridge. So it's pumpkin-palooza today, in two separate posts. Needed something to use up the ginger-pear sauce I was left with after making pear syrup the other day, so I took a chance and adapted my mother's pineapple upside down cake recipe, and came up with this.

Pumpkin-pear Upside Down Cake

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 cup pear compote
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pear, sliced thin

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup cooking oil

Combine brown sugar, melted margarine or butter, and cornstarch in a small bowl. . Stir pear compote into brown sugar mixture. Pour
mixture into a 10x2-inch round baking pan or a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Arrange pear slices on the syrup in the pan

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. In another mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Using low speed, beat in pumpkin and oil. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture just until moistened. Carefully spoon over pears. Spread mixture evenly with back of spoon.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Invert onto a serving plate.

And then of course, there's all those seeds (about 2 cups from 3 pumpkins). The sweet version is from's Southern Food set, the savory version is my own. Scale the recipe, depending on how many cups of seeds you have. I don't like pumpkin seeds, but these were amazing.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil

for sweet:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

for savory:
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne paper
1 tsp sugar

Rinse seeds well and get as much of the pumpkin pulp off of them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won't hurt the seeds at all, and might even add a little more flavor. Pat dry with paper towels. Don't let them dry completely on the paper towels, because they might stick! I dried mine thoroughly on a dish towel before using. Toss seeds with the butter, sugar, and spices.

Heat oven to 300°. Spread coated seeds in a shallow baking sheet (I lined it with baking parchment) for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.

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