Recipes From the Pumpkin Farm
Pumpkins are everywhere at Jamestown Community Farm’s annual hayride. They’re piled onto an old potato cart, artfully strewn in a field, and clutched in the arms of many vaisitors at this volunteer-run farm in Rhode Island.
Held each October, the hayride raises funds for the farm’s operating budget. For a donation, kids ride in a wagon to a distant field, hop off, and choose their favorite pumpkins. After the hayride, families enjoy fresh apple cider and sugar cookies shaped like leaves and pumpkins. Lynda Sutton, who founded the farm with her husband, Bob, in 2000, coordinates farm volunteers. They grow the pumpkins and other food crops.
The mission of this 14-acre farm, which has 4 acres under cultivation, is to grow food for Rhode Islanders without enough to eat. In 2015, volunteers produced 26,000 pounds of vegetables for those in need. “It’s very much about the sense of community and doing something for the common good,” Sutton says.
They share some of their favorite pumpkin recipes – so you can enjoy a taste of the harvest, too.
Recipe Starter: Pumpkin Puree
Prep: 15 minutes per pumpkin
Roast: 1 hour
Stand: 1 hour
Makes: 2 cups
- 2 to 3 pounds of sugar pumpkins
- Select firm sugar pumpkins that have no exterior signs of damage (best if matured on the vine and vines have withered and are dry). Preheat oven to 400°F. Knock the stems off the pumpkins and wash with a vegetable brush; wipe dry. Halve pumpkins and remove seeds and strings. (If desired, save seeds for roasting.) Place, cut sides down, on foil-lined baking sheets. Roast on the middle oven rack about 1 hour or until a sharp knife goes into the pumpkins with little resistance.
- Remove pumpkins from oven. Let stand until cool enough to handle. The flesh should easily peel away from the skin. Place flesh, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor; cover and blend or process pulp until smooth. Place puree in a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh sieve and let stand 1 hour to drain. Press lightly to remove any additional liquid. Discard liquid. Place flesh in a covered container or resealable plastic bag; chill up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months.
Note: Use this puree in the following recipes. For other recipes that call for a 15-ounce can of pumpkin, substitute 1¾ cups pumpkin puree.
Per Serving: 15 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 90 minutes
Cool: 1 hour 45 minutes
Chill: 6 hours
- ¾ cup crushed amaretti cookies
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (10 to 12 squares)
- 1⁄3 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- Caramel-flavor ice cream topping
- Finely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap the outside of an 8-inch springform pan securely with heavy foil. For crust, in a small bowl stir together the first five ingredients (through melted butter). Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a large bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium until fluffy. Remove 1⁄3 cup of the mixture for the topping; cover and refrigerate. Add pumpkin, the ½ cup cream, the vanilla, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, the allspice, nutmeg, and cloves to the remaining cream cheese mixture; beat until combined. Stir in eggs.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place springform pan into a large roasting pan. (Make sure there is at least 1 inch between the springform pan and the edges of the roasting pan.) Place roasting pan on oven rack. Carefully pour enough hot water into roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake about 1½ hours or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Carefully remove the springform pan from the roasting pan; cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove foil. Using a thin knife, loosen crust from side of pan. Cool 30 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, stir sour cream, the 3 tablespoons cream, and the remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon into the reserved cream cheese mixture. Spread over top of cheesecake. Remove side of springform pan. Cool cheesecake 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
- To serve, drizzle caramel topping over each serving and, if desired, sprinkle with additional walnuts.
Per Serving: 331 calories, 21 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 75 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein
Thai-Style Pumpkin Soup
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 appetizer or side-dish servings
- 1¾ cups pumpkin puree or one 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth or stock
- 1½ cups mango or apricot nectar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk (2⁄3 cup) or 2⁄3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Bottled hot pepper sauce or ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Dairy sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
- Dried Thai chile peppers (optional)
- In a large saucepan combine the first five ingredients (through garlic). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in milk, peanut butter, vinegar, and hot sauce until smooth. If desired, stir in cilantro. If desired, top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream and garnish with Thai chile peppers.
Per Serving: 172 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 532 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Prep: 15 minutes
Roast: 20 minutes
Cool: 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake: 70 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
- 6 1½-pound sugar pumpkins
- 15 egg yolks
- 4 cups whipping cream
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top off each pumpkin and, if desired, reserve for presentation. Scrape out the seeds and fibers from pumpkins. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool on pan 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine egg yolks, whipping cream, sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla. Beat with a whisk just until combined. Divide the mixture equally among the cooled pumpkins.
- Place the pumpkins in a large roasting pan; set pan on oven rack. Pour enough hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the pumpkins. Bake 70 to 80 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. (If using, place reserved pumpkin tops on a baking sheet the last 25 minutes of baking; cool and chill until serving time.) Remove pumpkins from pan; cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.
- To serve, sprinkle top of each custard with sugar. Using a culinary torch, heat the sugar until it browns. If using, set reserved pumpkin tops on the plates. Halve each dessert to serve.
Per Serving: 455 calories, 35 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 321 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 6 g protein
By Penelope O'Sullivan