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For the first time ever, the girls grew their very own pumpkins this year. Emma was quite successful with her bounty: 2 large pumpkins and a medium one.  Charlotte, just 3 wee little ones.  No matter, they were quite excited and decorated them for Halloween.  I asked to keep one for roasting.

We love roasted pumpkin seeds.  I usually just toss them with olive oil and salt, then pop them in the oven.  This time, I thought I’d try something different.  My friend Marina had come over for scones a few days earlier and brought me a gift.  A foodie gift.  Pimentón.

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Pimentón is a Spanish version of paprika with a wonderful smoky flavour to it. An essential ingredient in Spanish cuisine, it’s what gives chorizo its distinct flavour.  I use it to flavour my chicken when making fajitas, or beef when making tacos.  I even blend into my mayo and dip my fries into it.  Its use is limitless.  I love it!  And that gorgeous colour, oh!  My daughter Charlotte took these to school for snack one day and her friends devoured them.  They even asked if I would share the recipe.  So here you go girls, this one is for you, The Pumpkin Seeds Girls at Villa Maria High School.  Place the seeds in an oven pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt and pimentón, and give them a toss.  Roast in the oven at 350 F, until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

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Now for roasting the pumpkin.  I cut it into pieces and peeled them.  I threw them into a roasting pan and then into a 350 F oven, until fork tender. Once cooled, I stored it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

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Not having made my pumpkin pie for our Canadian Thanksgiving, much to Emma and my nephew’s disappointment, I thought I’d make it with the roasted pumpkin.  I’ve only ever used canned pumpkin, so this was a first.  I love this pumpkin pie.  Instead of using the typical graham cracker crust, I make it with ginger snap cookies.  It gives the pie a wonderfully warm flavour.  And it’s ready in a snap, no baking involved!

Ginger Pumpkin Pie

2 cups of ginger snap cookie crumbs, about 250 gr. of ginger snaps

1/4 cup of melted butter

3/4 cups of brown sugar

1 package of unflavoured gelatin

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 cups/400 gr. of roasted pumpkin, pureed, or a 14 oz. can of pumpkin

3/4 cups of milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup of 35% whipping cream

Place the ginger snap cookies in a food processor and blitz until they turn into fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and mix with your fingers. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch/1.5 L deep pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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In a saucepan, stir together brown sugar, gelatin, salt and all of the spices. Blend in the pumpkin, milk and egg yolks.  If you’ve forgotten to puree the pumpkin into a smooth texture, as I did, you can use a hand blender in the saucepan to do so now.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Set the pan in an ice water bath in the kitchen sink.  Allow to cool.

In a small bowl, whip the cream until thick.  Whisk 1/4 of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour into the pie crust and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.  I like to decorate my pie with additional whipped cream and ginger snaps.  Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

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