Commercial pumpkin growers in Illinois, the top pumpkin producing state, are reporting a bumper crop of both decorative and cooking pumpkins. With pumpkin so readily available this year, it is a perfect year to try your hand at cooking and baking with pumpkin.
While many pumpkin recipes call for canned pumpkin, we recommend you try your hand at roasting your own fresh pumpkins for use in recipes.
Roasting a Pumpkin
The first step in roasting a pumpkin is selecting a good pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are generally smaller and less stringy than carving pumpkins. Farmer’s markets and roadside stands generally separate the two kinds, but if you are unsure just ask for help selecting the right pumpkin for your needs.
Once you have your pumpkins, cut the top and bottoms off, and cut in half. Then clean them out as much as possible including any seeds and stringy parts. Then place cut side down on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, remove from the oven and let cool.
That’s it. You now have pumpkin ready for use in a variety of recipes, including these favorites from some Select Registry inn kitchens.
Bread and Muffin Recipes
- Pumpkin Bread from Captain Lord Mansion
This traditional-style pumpkin bread is delicious served warm on the day it is baked, but also freezes well for enjoying during the cold winter months.
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Rum Sauce from Rabbit Hill Inn
This pumpkin recipe is about as far from traditional pumpkin pie as you can get. The spiced rum and pumpkin blend to create a unique take on bread pudding.
- Pumpkin ~ Chocolate Chip Muffins from Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn
The innkeepers report that the muffins taste their best a day after baking, but we suspect you can only find this out for yourself if you bake two batches.
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from Inn at Castle Hill
Whether serving with breakfast or as a dessert, these muffins are sure to delight. The cream cheese filling makes them a true delicacy.
- Spectacular Banana Pumpkin Bread from Andon-Reid Inn Bed & Breakfast
Bananas are a regular ingredient in recipes at Andon-Reid, but few recipes turn overly ripe bananas into such a treat.
- Pumpkin Pancakes from Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast
These pancakes have a delicious richness thanks to sour cream or substituted yogurt. Though the original recipe was found in Midwest Living Magazine, the innkeepers have made it their own.
- Pumpkin Pie Pancakes from Adair Country Inn and Restaurant
Nothing makes waking up on a cool fall morning easier than the smell of pumpkin pie pancakes drifting into your room. These pancakes are sure to do the trick.
- Millie Meador’s Pumpkin Cake from The Verandas
Looking for an easy yet delicious fall cake? This pumpkin cake is perfect. With only 5 ingredients, it may be the easiest cake you make this year, but the taste will never give away your secret.
- Pumpkin Macadamia Bars from Stafford’s Bay View Inn
White chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and pumpkin flavors blend together to make these bars different from all other pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin pie may become a thing of the past after you make these.
- Pumpkin Squares from Old Harbor Inn
These versatile and easy-to-make squares can be served for breakfast or afternoon tea. The cream cheese frosting makes them a true treat.
- Maple Gingerbread Pudding in a Pool of Pumpkin Soup from Rabbit Hill Inn
This options with this soup seem never ending. Serve it hot. Serve it cold. Serve it with the gingerbread pudding. Serve it alone. However you choose to serve it, it is remarkable.
- Pumpkin Bisque from Whitestone Country Inn
This bisque masterfully combines traditional soup ingredients (i.e. garlic and shallots) with favorite pumpkin spices to create a soup that is far from typical. This is a favorite of guests on cold fall days.
Other Ways to Enjoy Pumpkins
Select Registry inns across North America are serving up pumpkins in their recipes. They are also partnering with local businesses to offer fall packages. Some are decorating with pumpkins on their inn grounds.
Planning a getaway this fall? Contact a Select Registry inn in your destination area to find out how they are celebrating fall with pumpkins.