> Holidays > Sukkot > Cookbook

Pumpkin Harvest

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

Soups, pies, breads, kugels and more!

Maybe it's because I'm originally from the U.S.A., but when I think of the harvest, I think of a pumpkin. Changing leaves and football games still play in my head as well as Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Now I'm in Israel and the harvest means Sukkot, and the pumpkin is still on my mind. I think Israel has some of the biggest pumpkins in the world. Last week I bought one that was 67 kilos (147.4 pounds)! I love pumpkin.

What does pumpkin mean to me in the kitchen? Pumpkin pie, pumpkin kugel, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, roast pumpkin and more. Each one of these recipes gets me the "Wow! That's great! Can I have the recipe?"

Pumpkins are baked, boiled and steamed. You can season them in any way you like. When a whole pumpkin is more than needed, cut the extra pumpkin into pieces and coat with paraffin. A pound (1/2 kilo) of raw pumpkin yields 1 cup cooked mashed vegetable.

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Pumpkin Bread

4 cups flour
2 tsps. baking soda
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
2 cups steamed pumpkin
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup oil
4 large eggs
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil two loaf pans, dust with flour. Mix first 6 ingredients into large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat pumpkin and next 4 ingredients in another large bowl to blend. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pans. Bake until tester inserted in loaf comes out clean. Cover bread with aluminum foil if browning too quickly. Bake about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool and serve warm with cream and butter.

Makes 2 loaves.

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Pumpkin Soup with Honey and Cloves

2 tbsps. margarine
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 sweet potato
1 white potato
1 large onion, chopped
1 2-lb. pumpkin peeled, seeded, chopped (about 6 cups)
6 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
5 whole cloves


2 tbsps. honey

Melt margarine in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion: saut? until tender, about 8 minutes. Add pumpkin, sweet potato and white potato, 6 cups stock and cloves. Cover and simmer until pumpkin and potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Discard cloves. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return to Dutch oven. Stir in cream and honey. Bring to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving, thinning with more stock, if desired.)

Makes 8 servings.

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Cousin Rivky's Pumpkin Kugel

1 large piece of pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup of Coffee Rich

Boil or steam pumpkin until soft. Mash. Add applesauce, eggs, sugar and flour. Mix well. Pour into trays lined with baking paper. Pour a line of cinnamon down the middle. Swirl it into a nice design on the kugel with a toothpick. Bake in a medium oven at 350°F for 45 minutes.

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Pumpkin or Squash Pie

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 cups canned or cooked, strained pumpkin or squash
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
grated lemon rind, if desired
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Mix sugar, salt and spices; add pumpkin, lightly beaten eggs, and the milk and cream gradually. If pumpkin is very moist, use less liquid. Brush shell with egg white. Add the filling, and bake in hot oven, 425°F, for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F, and bake 40 minutes longer; or until knife inserted near edge of custard comes out clean. Cool at room temperature.

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Frozen Pumpkin Pie

6 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. each of allspice, ginger, cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 cups pumpkin, canned or cooked
two baked 9-inch pie shells

Beat the egg yolks, add the sugar, spice and salt. Add 1 cup of the cream and cook in double boiler, stirring constantly until the custard coats the spoon. Add pumpkin and cool. Add the remaining cream and freeze. If frozen in a refrigerator tray, stir occasionally so the mixture will be smooth. Just before serving, fill the shells with the frozen mixture and cover thickly and completely with Meringue Topping. Place under the broiler; just long enough to brown the meringue.

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Pumkin Pie Oil Pastry Crust

Easy and surefire!

2 cups flour, sifted
1/4 cup cold water (or Coffee Rich)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
scant tsp. sugar

Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add water or milk (or substitute) and oil. Mix with fork, work with hands to put together. Divide in half and roll out between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Makes 2 crusts for 8" or 9" pie. This rolls out quite thin and you peel the waxed paper off. It tears easily, so be careful, but you can also patch it and it works fine. Makes a light and flaky crust.

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Pumpkin Pav?

Pav? means "slab" or "block," in French. This pav? tastes suspiciously like a Thanksgiving pie. It's very elegant when sliced and served with rosettes of whipped cream or drizzled with Chocolate Maple Syrup.

5 extra-large eggs
4 cups (30 ozs.) canned pumpkin pie filling
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with pinch of salt until well blended. Add the pumpkin pie filling and mix until very smooth. Slowly add the heavy cream and continue to mix until smooth and creamy.

Pour the mixture into a nonstick 9 ½ by 5 ½ inch loaf pan. Bake in a hot water bath for 1 ½ hours. Remove from water bath and let cool, then refrigerate 3 or 4 hours.

Slice and place on chilled dessert plates. If desired, whip some additional heavy cream and serve the pav? with a dollop.

Makes 12 servings.

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Cheese Raviolini, Roasted Pumkin Sauce

Pasta di zucca is a familiar dish in northern Italy. Here I use slow-roasted pumpkin as a delectable sauce for cheese-filled raviolini (little ravioli). Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds for added crunch.

2 lbs. fresh pumpkin or Hubbard squash
2 cups homemade vegetable broth or canned
1 lb. cheese raviolini (see note)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the pumpkin into several large pieces, removing any seeds or membrane. Reserve seeds if using for garnish (see note). Place pumpkin in a baking pan, flesh side down, and pour 1/4 cup water over the top. Bake for 1 hour, turning over after 30 minutes. The pumpkin will be lightly caramelized. Meanwhile, reduce the vegetable broth until you have 1 1/2 cups. Keep warm.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Scrape the flesh from the skin and put in a blender or a food processor. Blend until very smooth, slowly adding the reduced broth. Taste the sauce, adding salt if needed. Keep warm.

Cook the raviolini in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well. Serve with hot pumpkin sauce. Add coarsely ground black pepper to taste, or scatter with toasted pumpkin seeds.

NOTE: To toast pumpkin seeds: Pour boiling water over seeds in a small bowl and steep for 30 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel. Bake on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven for 25 minutes, then sprinkle with salt.

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My Wife's Roasted Winter Squash or Pumpkin

squash or pumpkin
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut pumpkin or squash into nice sized serving pieces. Poke holes into each piece with fork. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Dot each piece with margarine. Bake 40 minutes covered. Remove cover and continue to bake 10-15 minutes or until soft with a nice color.

Please send me your best, easiest recipes and comment on mine at:

-- Chef Herschel


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