Mise en Place: Pumpkins

October 7, 2011

Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state’s agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

With Halloween right around the corner, bright orange pumpkins are making their festive annual debut. KRCC’s Ellen Mahoney visited the pumpkin patch at Rock Creek Farm in Broomfield and talked with farmer Scott Miller. Then Ellen went to Swansea Elementary School in Denver when she met with SuperFoods Project Coordinator Anne Wilson, where they made a pumpkin parfait.

See below for the pumpkin parfait recipe from Anne Wilson, and for Pumpkin Zucchini Walnut Bread from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. And, just in case, Anne Wilson also helps us out with instructions on how to make pumpkin puree.


Pumpkin Parfait
Anne Wilson, Coordinator for Denver Public Schools' SuperFoods Project

1 can pumpkin pie filling (30 oz)
1 tub low-fat vanilla yogurt (32 oz)
1 box granola (15 oz)
1 bag pumpkin seeds (10 oz)

Place about three spoons of pumpkin pie filling into a small cup. Next, add three spoons of yogurt. Add one more layer of pumpkin. Sprinkle granola and pumpkin seeds on top. Makes about six parfaits. Eat and enjoy!


Recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Pumpkin Zucchini Walnut Bread
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., Douglas County School District

1-1/4 Cups Sweet Shortening
1-1/4 Cups White Sugar
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
5 Ea. Large Eggs
1 Can (15 oz) Pumpkin, solid pack
1 Cup Zucchini, seeded, shredded (with skin on)
1 Tbsp. Maple Extract
3-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1-1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Paste
1/2 Cup Walnuts, toasted and chopped

In a small mixer with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg to ensure incorporation into the mix then add vanilla paste. Beat in pumpkin puree, shredded zucchini and maple extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Spray a 10-inch Loaf pan with Bakers Spray (contains flour), pour the pumpkin mixture into the pan and slightly agitate the pan to remove any air pockets. Bake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan, then place onto a cooling rack and cool. Serve warm with cream cheese spread. Also great toasted or battered and used for French toast.


Hint: Making Pumpkin Puree
Anne Wilson, Coordinator for Denver Public Schools' SuperFoods Project

1. Buy a whole pumpkin, wash it and then cut open and remove the top.
2. Using a large spoon, remove stringy material from inside the pumpkin, and separate the seeds from the stringy material.
3. Now cut the pumpkin into small pieces and bake at 350 degrees for 45-90 minutes in a pan with water in the base to prevent burning.
You can also steam the sections of pumpkin until soft.
4. Once the pumpkin pieces are cool, scoop out the cooked pumpkin and place in blender with 3/4 cup sugar or honey and three
teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (per three cups of cooked pumpkin). Puree until desired consistency.