The specialty pumpkins are coming along nicely. They need a few more weeks to fully mature, and for the rinds to harden for better storage. Folks might think a plain orange pumpkin is the only option. Not true, three specialty pumpkin varieties are available from our farm that are surprisingly useful in the kitchen. Here’s the line-up – Marina Di Chioggia, Long Island Cheese and Jarrahdale (front to back).
All of them are edible. They are winter squash more than pumpkins (sorry pumpkin carvers but these pumpkins aren’t for you). For the cooks out there, these pumpkins can be oven roasted, or sauteed in a skillet, or use in soups or stews. We came up with some great recipes to help these yummy “pumpkins” find their way to your kitchens. And a big plus is that these pumpkins can be stored in a cool room of your house for most of the winter for future use.
For pumpkin pie, we recommend the Long Island Cheese which is a “moschata” pumpkin. It is better than the “pepo” pumpkin like the standard Halloween pumpkins. Halloween pumpkins often cook up stringy and watery. Long Island Cheese pumpkins are brighter orange, higher in nutrients and sugars, always smooth grained and have a denser flesh that will result in a better custard. Use your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Here’s ours: started by quartering and seeding. We oven roast to cook the pumpkin at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Then, peel the pumpkin after it cools and puree in a blender or food processor. From there, the recipe: For every 2 cups of pureed pumpkin add 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. of ginger, 1/4 tsp. cloves and 1/2 tsp of salt. Next, add your custard ingredients: 2 eggs, 1 can of evaporated milk (or 1 cup of whole milk or light cream) and 3/4 cup sugar. Everything should be nice and blended. Pour into a deep unbaked pie crust. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven and the depth of your pie. Check for firmness toward the end of the baking time, but don’t let the pumpkin filling over cook or scorch. We found this to be very tasty, creamy, with the right amount of sweetness and pumpkin flavor. Add of your favorite whipped topping.
The Jarrahdale has a hard, thick rind, which gives it a very long storage keep time. It can keep on the shelf all most as long as a twinkie. So, what can you use it for? Here’s a favorite Jarrahdale recipe:
Jarrahdale Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Horseradish
Jarrahdales have a light and fresh flavor and cook up very well with the potatoes. The garlic and horseradish give a zing that spices up this old favorite.
- 1 Jarrahdale Pumpkin
- 8 Russian Banana potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 C butter
- 1/4 C cream
- 1/4 C chopped horseradish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to taste
Heat Jarrahdale at 250 in per-heated oven for 25 minutes. Let cool, halve and scoop seeds out of both halves. Then scoop out flesh from of one of the halves and save the other pumpkin halve. Microwave potatoes with holes poked in them for about 12 minutes. Skin potatoes if desired and then dice them. Add potatoes, squash, cream and butter to a pot on medium heat. Mash as the potatoes cook down and become tender, about 25 minutes. Add more cream if the potatoes become stiff or dry. Add garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 – 10 minutes. Serve in the saved Jarrahdale Pumpkin half and top with Parmesan cheese.
The Marina Di Chioggia can be used to make Gnocchi which is an traditional Italian pasta recipe. We’re getting the Gnocchi recipe directions from Butch Davis to share in a future post.