Four of the Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall
It’s the time of year again where one can’t seem to walk down the street without being bombarded by signs advertising pumpkin spice lattes topped with cinnamon or bins outside of grocery stores overflowing with the fruit. Yes, autumn is definitely here.
Now don’t get us wrong, we love pumpkin, we’ve even pulled together lists of wines with notes of it. And we also love pumpkin based dishes. Now, we had a lot of recipes to cull through, and it certainly wasn’t easy to pick our favorites. But whether you’re looking for a savory dish like a soup, a dessert like a pie or even a hot toddy, we found the perfect pumpkin recipes for you to enjoy this fall favorite ingredient.
Jump Straight to a Pumpkin Recipe
Haiti became the second independent country in the Americas (in 1804, after the U.S.), and since then has maintained a distinct and complex cuisine, influenced by African, Spanish, French and native Taíno cultures. Soupe Joumou is commonly served on Independence Day, January 1.
- 2 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers
- 2 scallions, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus additional to taste
- 1 pound beef stew meat (like chuck), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 6 cups kabocha or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ cabbage, thickly sliced
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 medium white sweet potatoes
- 6 cloves
- Black pepper, to taste
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Bread (for serving)
Deseed and mince 1 habanero pepper, then combine with the scallions, garlic, vinegar, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Add beef and coat with mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (preferably 8 hours or longer).
In large stockpot over medium heat, add 3 cups water. Add meat with all the marinade, onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer, then cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another stockpot, cover squash with cold water. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking water. In blender, purée squash with 2 cups cooking water.
Add squash purée to meat. Bring to boil. Add cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Stud the second (whole) habanero with the cloves and add it to the pot. Reduce heat, and cook uncovered until vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove habanero, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with lime wedges and bread for dipping. Serves 4–6.
Kenwood 2017 Chardonnay (Sonoma County). Bold Chardonnays are terrific with creamy squash soups, and this wine shows light, well-strung, tangy acidity that contrasts the rich beef and the habanero’s fruity spice. Sour lemon, apple, flint and ginger combine on the palate for an elegant and widely appealing experience.
A touch of Sherry vinegar adds a soft, bright note to keep the dish from tasting too sweet. Green pumpkin seeds add crunch and color.
- 3 acorn squash, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 6 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place squash and apples in enameled cast-iron (or other nonstick) roasting pan. Drizzle butter on top. Toss with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 375˚F. Remove aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes to brown apples and squash.
When squash and apples have about 5 minutes left to bake, heat a cast-iron or copper skillet to medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast 3 minutes, stirring them to avoid scorching.
Remove squash and apples from oven. Drizzle with Sherry vinegar, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Transfer to serving dish or serve in roasting pan. Serves 12.
Pumpkin is no longer just a fruit, but an ethos that borders on obsession. Many people are less enamored by the actual flavor of pumpkin than what it represents: changing leaves, crisp air, chilly temps. We love autumn because it makes us just cold enough to where the act of warming up is enjoyable. It’s few short months where we can cozy up in front of a warm, flickering fire with hot mugs of spiced cider.
Pumpkin pie is more than merely “some pie.” Pumpkin pie is the edible embodiment of our autumnal spiritual needs baked into a buttery crust. Aspiring to make a good pie is to aiming too low. This pie needs to be bigger than dessert, bigger than Thanksgiving, bigger than all the colorful leaves and mittens and seasonal lattes in the world. It’s not just the centerpiece of the table, but centerpiece of the entire season. Eating a slice of pumpkin pie is bending the knee at the Altar of Fall.
To create this recipe, deep meditation was needed. It was not just the usual soul searching that’s needed whenever you craft a pie (pie is very serious), but it required to light that fire within to truly feel the essence of the season in mind, body and spirit. And, where there’s fire, there’s smoke.
A good whiskey has many characteristics ideal for this pie. Its flavor, from being aged in charred wood barrels, gives you the full “cuddling up next to the fire” experience in liquid form.
The fall fun doesn’t stop with the whiskey. Any pumpkin pie needs to be sweetened, and if you’re not sweetening it with maple syrup, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. This is an obvious pairing, just like peanut butter and jelly.
Pick up the darkest maple syrup you can find, which may be labeled B or C grade, depending on its point of origin. It’s the syrup harvested at the end of the season, whose maple flavor is so strong that it’s commonly deemed as “too much” for pancakes. In a pie with pumpkin and whiskey, though, it’s perfect.
Once these ingredients are whisked together, we bring in our secret ingredient: liquid smoke. Be careful, this stuff is highly concentrated. A single drop can add intense flavor, so add the tiniest increments possible and taste as you go (it’s safe to do this). You won’t need much. If you worry about your judgment, feel free to skip the liquid smoke all together. It’s only there for a little je nais sais quoi.
Once baked, let the pie chill in the refrigerator for a day or two, as it will improve with age. You can serve with plain whipped cream if you have company, but ideally, you’re eating this all on your own, tucked under a fleece blanket.
- 1 stick cold butter
- 1⅓ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2–4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg white, well beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Cut cold butter into flour, sugar, and salt using food processor or pastry cutter until it resembles small pebbles. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just comes together. Place on large sheet of plastic wrap. Gather edges to make satchel, and squeeze so dough comes together in ball (if it doesn’t, add a bit more water). Flatten plastic-wrapped dough into a 1-inch thick disc. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Place dough on well-floured board. Let sit for 10 minutes. Roll to ¼-inch thick, and line dough into pie pan. Roll up edges to make decorative rimmed crust, then dock bottom and sides with fork. Freeze until solid. (Well wrapped, frozen shell will keep 3 months.)
Heat oven to 375°F. Place baking sheet into oven to warm. Line frozen pie shell with foil, and fill with rice, sugar, or pie weights. Place on baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Using pastry brush, glaze pie crust with egg wash. Bake additional 5 minutes. Remove pie shell and baking sheet from oven. Set crust aside, and reduce oven to 350°F.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons whiskey
- ⅓ cup dark maple syrup
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ teaspoon (or less) of liquid smoke (optional)
In bowl, whisk yolks and egg with sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice and salt until solidly mixed. Add pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, whiskey, syrup, heavy cream and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Place drop of liquid smoke onto spoon, and add to custard. Mix and taste for flavor. Add another drop, if desired.
Pour custard into pie shell Place pie onto baking sheet, and place in center of oven. Bake 45–50 minutes, or until pie is mostly set but looks slightly jiggly in center. Let cool, and refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6–8
Henriques & Henriques NV Boal 15 Years Old Bual (Madeira); $75, 92 points. Old-wood aromas lead to a wine with great richness and spice. Lines of acidity lift the wonderful toffee, rich caramel and old-wood flavors. This is a wine for the end of the meal, perhaps with fruit or coffee. Haus Alpenz. –Roger Voss
Recipe courtesy Colicchio & Sons, New York City
This hot toddy variation balances the fresh, bright flavor profile Irish whiskey with touches of pumpkin, walnut and blackstrap molasses. The key ingredient here isn’t actually the whiskey, but nocino—a liqueur native to Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, made from green, unripened walnuts.
Previous hard to come by in the U.S., imported bottlings have begun to pop up at shops around the nation. But increasingly, American distilleries have begun producing their own versions of this classic digestif, with liquors ranging from vodka to rum acting as the base spirit. Look for domestic offerings from Skip Rock Distillers in Washington State, Watershed Distillery in Ohio, and Wood Hat Spirits in Missouri, for an updated take on an Irish Whiskey Hot Toddy.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey, preferably Jameson or Powers
- ½ ounce nocino
- ¼ ounce lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin purée
- 2 ounces hot water
- Lemon twist, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mug and stir until well incorporated. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- 1Soupe Joumou (Pumpkin Soup) (Haiti)
- 2Roasted Acorn Squash & Apples with Pan-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 3Whiskey Pumpkin Pie
- 4The Ichabod Crane, an Irish Whiskey Hot Toddy