Monday, November 19, 2012

What to do with that leftover pumpkin puree

Pumpkin pie with Kabocha squash (Cucurbita maxima)

I am a big fan of pumpkin pie. Especially when it's made with kabocha squash instead of pumpkin. But whether you make your Thanksgiving pie with a home-roasted heirloom squash or the classic can of mashed pumpkin, there's a good chance you're going to find yourself with some extra pumpkin puree. My suggestions (with directions and recipe links after the jump):

1. Make my quick pumpkin soup. It's tasty and you can throw it together in a few minutes. I like to make this as an easy light lunch to tide people over until the turkey's ready.

2. Make pumpkin black bean empanadas. They take a bit more time but are so very worth it. If you've got enough to do before Thursday, you can always refrigerate the pumpkin and make the empanadas later in the weekend.

3. Make another pumpkin pie. For me.

Easy pumpkin soup and pumpkin black bean empanada

Fast, easy pumpkin curry soup

This is barely even a recipe. Just mix 1 part pumpkin puree with 1 or 2 parts chicken or turkey stock, add a few glugs of of red or yellow curry sauce (I like Trader Joe's), heat it up, and serve each bowl topped with a big dollop of plain yogurt (or sour cream).

If you don't like curry, try some crumbled bacon, or a sprinkle of ground cumin, coriander, and ginger, or some chopped onions, or a splash of sriracha sauce... you get the idea.

Pumpkin black bean empanada

Pumpkin and black bean empanadas

via Out of the Ordinary
This recipe comes from another food blogger who is also named Claire. I made them for a party, and they're incredibly good. So good I'm planning to make a big batch and freeze them so I can bake off a few whenever I want.

A few notes:

1. The recipe says to bake them 30 minutes at 425°, but mine got a bit burnt around the edges. Less time, or a lower temperature? If you figure it out, let me know in the comments.

2. I didn't bother to make the sauce, but the empanadas were delicious on their own. The sauce does look tasty (except for the jalapeƱos), so maybe I'll make it next time.

3. If you don't have any masa harina for the crusts, you could make a double batch of pie crust and use that instead. But I wouldn't, because these are The. Best. Crust. Ever. As a friend of mine said, somewhat unpoetically, "You could fill these crusts with turkey crap and it would still be awesome."

The full recipe is at Yes, I know the permalink says "enchiladas," but the recipe is for empanadas. These things happen. Even to people named Claire.

Pumpkin pie recipe tweaking

Pumpkin pie


I'm constantly tweaking my pumpkin pie, recipe, but my starting point is Heidi Swanson's "Spice-kissed pumpkin pie," from 101 Cookbooks. The spice blend is much more intense than most pies (yay!) and it uses coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. (Have I mentioned I'm lactose intolerant?)

Fair notice, though: this isn't the recipe from the back of the can. It's good, but it's a bit different, and could upset any traditionalists who are counting on cranberry sauce from a can, the stuffing from that one kind of stuffing mix, and the pumpkin pie that mom used to make. Which is yet another good reason to make two pumpkin pies.

The full recipe is at

Filling a kabocha squash pie