Pumpkin Pie Redux

by Ben on November 28, 2010 · 83 comments

in Baking, Desserts, Index, Vegetarian

My extremely talented sister once told me that she had made a pumpkin pie, from scratch, with a fresh pumpkin, and that it tasted no different from a pie made with canned. I was in college at the time, when the idea of cutting open an actual pumpkin seemed tantamount to building your own television. The canned pumpkin seemed like a modern marvel that could possibly render the unprocessed version obsolete.

But times, and curiosities, change. I am now accustomed to seeing (presumably fresh) pumpkin shoehorned into every imaginable food throughout the fall and winter seasons. Pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin crème brûlée, pumpkin soup, pumpkin flan, pumpkin ale, and of course, the abomination that is the pumpkin spice latte. In each of these cases, I find myself asking the same question: What does pumpkin taste like?

The answer invariably seems to be: Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Not that I have an intrinsic problem with those flavors. But aside from the comforting, orange-brown paste we are accustomed to taking in a pie shell, what does it actually feel like to bite into a piece of pumpkin? Perhaps, as I have often suspected, there is a reason we don’t leave the pumpkin meat intact. I could imagine it being bland, slimy, possibly bitter. Perhaps, like quince, it is only palatable in paste form. I considered it a personal challenge to prove that notion wrong.

As a home cook primarily known for slow-cooking meats, I have long felt that I should learn how to make a proper dessert. Years before the genesis of Babychili, I found myself oddly drawn to the numerous pie contests I saw on television. I felt that they were different from other cooking competitions in that, despite being open to professional cooks, the contestants, generally speaking, had no formal training. They were home cooks like me, and they were surprisingly creative. I wondered whether I could win such a contest, and how long it would take to find out.

It’s become cliché for savory cooks to say that they are intimidated by baking, but that has certainly been the case with me. Eventually, work, “real life,” and various other excuses took over, and I never did try making a pie. Sometimes you need to get pushed into the pool. So I committed, this Thanksgiving, to executing my own version of pumpkin pie (actually a tart). And dammit, you were going to get pieces of pumpkin if it killed me.

* * * * *

CANDIED PUMPKIN TART WITH TOASTED PUMPKIN SEED FRANGIPANE

The crust

Regular readers of this blog have heard me say this several times now, but I’ll repeat it for the newcomers: If you are a neurotic perfectionist, or perhaps just like to have things explained to you in pedantic detail, a highly recommended way to learn any new technique in the kitchen is to consult The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. I have rarely attempted a recipe from this book that did not subsequently result in the best version of that particular dish I have ever had. So when it came time to learn how to make a pie crust, I did not turn to any number of classic tomes on baking. I went straight for the Basic Rich Tart Dough, by Rodgers.

But even a recipe as informative as Zuni’s does not necessarily make for a perfect first try. The prominent eyebrow-raiser in this recipe is its inclusion of salted butter. The salt, as I understand it, plays an important role in both the flavor and texture of the dough. Rodgers recommends butter containing 90 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon, which is near the high end of the range for salted butters. I neglected to remember this detail, and simply bought “salted butter,” which, in my case, happened to contain a whopping 115 milligrams per tablespoon. This was, in my opinion, too much salt for my recipe. I made three different crusts, and settled on using the European Style Lightly Salted Butter by Straus. In addition to being lower in sodium (45 milligrams per tablespoon), this butter was also significantly lower in moisture than the other two brands I tried. The lower moisture butter behaved with flour exactly as described in the book, while the other two butters (though they worked perfectly fine) were significantly stickier.

* * * * *

The filling

I imagined slices of caramelized pumpkin enveloped in a base of toasted pumpkin seed frangipane. Frangipane is a baked cream, typically made with almonds, that rises upon baking and assumes the consistency of a sticky bread. My first attempt at this was an unqualified failure. The frangipane did not rise, and the butter, all 13 tablespoons of it (which turned out to be only 9 tablespoons too many) leaked out of my poor tart and left it sitting in a pool of molten fat. I made several more versions of the frangipane before arriving at this version, found at Dessert First by Anita Chu. I made two ingredient substitutions: in place of almonds, I used pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted, and hulled) which I pan-toasted over medium-low heat for 5 – 10 minutes until they became fragrant and slightly brown. So that my pumpkin seeds would not compete with the flavor of almonds, I used vanilla extract instead of almond extract.

One practical piece of advice I can offer in making any frangipane is to make sure that the sugar/pumpkin seed (or sugar/almond) mixture is processed or ground to the point where you cannot imagine the pieces of seeds or nuts being any smaller. Before adding wet ingredients, you should arrive at a sandy-colored sugar. There may be flecks of skin from the pumpkin seeds, but there should be no detectable grit from the meat of the seeds. This is apparently essential for allowing the seeds to incorporate into a smooth cream that will rise during baking.

* * * * *

The pumpkin

Finally, we arrive at the $64 question: Do pieces of pumpkin belong on a tart? I maintain that the answer is yes. My treatment of the pumpkin is inspired by calabaza en tacha, traditionally served during Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. The challenge here was to prepare slices of pumpkin that were attractive, preferably caramelized, had a distinct pumpkin flavor, and could be cut easily with a fork. But how thick can I cut the pumpkin? Should I parcook it? Marinate it? Allow it to cook completely on the tart itself? I struggled to arrive at the product I suspected (but was not certain) was possible, and experienced a key aha moment when reading this recipe for butternut squash tart by Matt Armendariz. Roast it in oil first. Then season and bake. Here is the winning method:

Candied pumpkin

1 small sugar pumpkin*
grapeseed or vegetable oil
kosher salt
1/4 C granulated sugar
zest and juice from 1/2 of a small orange
2 T maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

*Note: The pumpkin should be small, young and heavy for its size. Its flesh should provide a fair bit of resistance when cutting with a sharp knife. If the flesh is light or spongy, then too much of the starch has been converted to sugar, and it will wind up tasting more like a radish than a sweet potato. A kabocha or butternut squash would also work nicely here.

Peel and quarter the pumpkin and thoroughly scrape out the pith and seeds. Cut into uniform slices about 1/2 cm thick. Lightly toss in neutral oil with a sprinkle of kosher salt. Roast in a preheated, 400F oven for 15 minutes or until tender, turning once to ensure even heating.

While the pumpkin is roasting, combine remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taking care not to damage the cooked pumpkin slices, arrange them in a single layer on a large plate and coat both sides with mixture. Allow the slices to marinate for about 15 minutes.

* * * * *

Assembling the tart

Spread the frangipane evenly in a frozen tart shell and carefully arrange pumpkin slices in a fan (or other desired) pattern. Bake in a preheated, 375F oven for about 40 minutes, or until both the frangipane and crust have begun to brown. About halfway through cooking, the frangipane should rise considerably, then relax. Allow the tart to cool completely on a wire rack before ravaging.

* * * * *

Needless to say, over this past week, I became extremely adept at peeling and seeding pumpkins. The tart shell, once a terrifying prospect, quickly became manageable. The pumpkin seeds yielded a rich, nutty frangipane. And the roast pumpkin slices married with orange to offer a fragrance reminiscent of marmalade. Did I mention that my tart didn’t last long?



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82 comments… read them below or add one

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I LOVE the idea of a pumpkin seed frangipane. Even a non-pumpkin pie-loving person like myself is be tempted by this one. When I can face looking at pumpkins again, I might have to give this a go. Well done and good luck!

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Ben November 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Thank you. I might have to take a little break from pumpkin, myself. :)

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Jean November 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Pumpkin pie redux–and improved. Love that you used all parts of the pumpkin to create something new and what I imagine tastes much better than the traditional pie. The top photo is gorgeous but the ones with Esme are even better. Great job! :-)

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Ben November 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Thank you, Jean. I do love traditional pumpkin pie, also. I’m just relieved that I got mine to actually work!

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Wei-Wei November 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

That’s so innovative and interesting – nice to have a change from the regular, consistent-through-the-whole-way pumpkin pie. GREAT work on this pie!

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amy k. November 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Beautiful! The first photo is reminiscent of those Danish still-lifes – the quality of light and richness of hues are lovely.

I might have to take a look at Rodgers’ book. I would have to get another bookshelf if I get anymore cookbooks.

Informative post and great use of the pumpkin!

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Ben November 28, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Thank you for noticing! That’s exactly what Erin was going for, and we were both very excited to try something a bit out of the ordinary.

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Xai | Obviously Omnivore November 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

it seems like this version would make me want to try pumpkin pie/tart. i’ve never tried anything pumpkin before, but this seems to be a good starting point.

oh by the way, your daughter is sooo adorable :) good luck on pfb!!!

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Marc @ NoRecipes November 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I think I may have to retract my stance on Pumpkin Pie after seeing this. Loved that you used pumpkin seeds in place of almonds in the frangipane!

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Amelia from Z Tasty Life November 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

a decadent renaissance pie. It is great that you used everything from the pumpkin: seeds and flesh for this dessert. Wonderful and really creative execution! Great work.

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Maya November 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I’d really rather make a pie (or tart) than build my own television any given day, and I must say that for your first attempt at pie-making, the results look superb! The process of making the pumpkin seed frangipane from scratch did make my toes curl though, in not a pleasant way… You deserve a standing ovation for that feat!

Thanks for such a detailed account of your pumpkin pie baking session, I’ve learnt a lot about other stuff through clicking on your links.

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Maya November 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Hahaha.. I just reread your post again (I have time to kill) and realized that you probably bought readily-hulled pumpkin seeds from the store! Silly me, I truly had such unreasonable expectations of you, Ben ;-) .

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Ben November 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm

LOL! I did briefly consider hulling my own seeds. *Maybe* I’d do it if I knew I could get the tart right on the first try, but you don’t know how many pumpkin seeds I went through. :)

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Brie November 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

beautiful pie, and i love that you made it in a tart pan. it looks delicious – great job!

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Marcie Wilson November 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I think this is the most challenging round yet. Your Ideas of how to treat pumkin seeds runs so counter intuititive of what I learned growing up. Treat them as a whole. They are a garnigh, not an ingredient! You have made me look at pumpkin seeds in a totally different light! I love chili baby! So

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Marcie Wilson November 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Ok, to be a bitch, I would love to see your interperitation of a Cornish pastie or a steak and kidney pie, one of my favorite Winter meals!

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Ben November 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I do love those pies. When the PFB Challenge ingredient is “kidney,” I’ll be all over it.

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Lisa November 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Ben, I love your story on how this dessert came to be, your explanation of the dessert and how to choose a pumpkin, all of it was very informative. And your daughter is beautiful (= Best wishes.

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Cathy/ShowFoodChef November 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I also love the idea of using the seeds instead of almonds in a frangipane – opens up another world of ideas. Candied pumpkin already sounds good and the tart is beautiful. Of course, seeing your daughter so lovingly watching and admiring her daddy is the picture that will linger.

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Joan Nova November 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Great addition to the competition and a well-written post to support it. Good luck!

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Charlie November 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm

This tart looks incredible! Candied pumpkin sure sounds delicious :) .

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saltyseattle November 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm

the lengths you went to to perfect what amounts to a serious challenge for a savory dude such as yourself impress me. i can tell it tasted great, which is often a dubious point in the world of food blogging. also- BIG props to the talent behind the lens on this one- the shots are incredible & Esme is a little gem.

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 12:03 am

Thanks. My wife thinks you’re flirting with her.

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Tes November 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Wow your pie looks stunning. I love the pumpkin candies recipe. I will try that :)

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 12:05 am

Thanks, Tes! If you want actual pumpkin candies, this one looks good, too:
http://lavidaenbuenosairesyafines.blogspot.com/2008/11/candied-pumpkin-in-syrup.html

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Heena @ Tiffin Tales November 29, 2010 at 12:30 am

Love this! It’s so great when people go out and create a recipe based on what they want to eat instead of what’s the standard norm. I’ve never been too fond of pumpkin pie, but this one gets my vote (literally). Good luck!

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Amy Bakes Everything November 29, 2010 at 2:02 am

Amazing! I’m sitting here stunned at the beauty of this – instruction, food and photography. Top notch!

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Stella November 29, 2010 at 5:55 am

Ben, I was relieved to see a previous comment addressing whether or not you bought some pumpkin seeds in bulk. I’m trying to imagine how many pumpkins you’d have to eviscerate to arrive at enough seeds to make frangipane. I have never heard of the Zuni cookbook, I am going to have to wishlist it ASAP because anyone who thinks of pumpkin seed frangipane has won my allegiance. Hmmm, pumpkin seed frangipane cupcakes…. JK.

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thanks, Stella. Curious to see what you might learn from it, given your training. Regardless, Judy is a wonderful writer and I cannot say enough good things about the book. It was a gift from my sister (your virtual neighbor).

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Isabelle November 29, 2010 at 6:39 am

Another awesome job by Team Babychili! I’m not a big fan of traditional pumpkin pie, but I can totally get on board with this deconstructed version. Love how you used pumpkin meat and pumpkin seeds to make this tart.. the pepita frangipane is positively inspired!
Good luck. You’ve got my vote!

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Liren November 29, 2010 at 7:45 am

I am in love with the still life – the lighting, the mood, and of course, the centerpiece, is stunning. For someone who is new to pumpkin pie baking, you pulled it off like a master! Beautifully executed! (p.s. Your little one is darling! Did she enjoy the pie?)

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Of course, Esme will eat anything with sugar in it. :) I had to cut her off at one mini-slice.

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Trish November 29, 2010 at 9:04 am

Looks delicious. I love frangipane! Good luck in the next PFB challenge. Cheering for you!

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Carolyn Jung November 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

This looks heads and shoulders above your average pumpkin pie. Beautiful! Can’t wait to try baking one, myself. ;)

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Thanks so much for reading, Carolyn. That is quite a compliment! :)

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Ashley November 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

Wow. Love that you kept real pieces of pumpkin on there!! Very unique..everyone typically only uses pumpkin in pureed form. Looks amazing and your daughter is adorable. :)

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for visiting, Ashley. Loved your lightbox post. :)

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Serene November 29, 2010 at 10:15 am

I love pumpkin and often eat it roasted. I am SO impressed with your tart, and want to try it soon.

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Daisy November 29, 2010 at 11:56 am

You’re one of the rare people who surprise me. And not because you’re crazy, but because you can think/create in so many different ways. Great job bb.

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Daisy November 29, 2010 at 11:57 am

…and Stella? When you finally come over some day, we can drink way too much wine and pore over my copy of Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Cookbook.

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Danielle November 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin-anything (apart from roasting them with a bit of oil and salt), but this pie-tart is seriously delectable. My sympathies about your first frangipane attempt (the same thing happened to M on his first try), and kudos to you for not giving up! Just wondering though, can you share the other brands of butter you tried? I only use Straus for baking but good to know about the characteristics of other brands too.

PS: I’m jealous of your marble baking slab!

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The Cuisinerd November 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I was wondering when babycakes would make an appearance! Adorable. And your pie is beautiful, ace!

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Renee November 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Great job Ben, as always. You are a talented writer, cook and now baker. Keeping my fingers crossed (and voting) for you to move to the next round!

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My Barbarian Table November 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

you rocked it! love this pumpkin pie re-do, beautifully shot!
Leila

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Daily Spud November 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Elegantly done, Ben. Pumpkin is not nearly as ubiquitous over on this side of the Atlantic (neither, thankfully, is the pumpkin spice latte), but I have had the US Thanksgiving / pumpkin pie experience, and this is a wonderful re-imagination of what that can be.

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riceandwheat November 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Will you be offended if I describe that top photo as haunting and unearthly? It is seriously a work of art and I love how it evokes a classic, old-timey feel to the whole post. I also love how you revamped something as classic as pumpkin pie, when I thought nothing else could be done to it.

Pumpkin seed frangipane? Finding the perfect butter for crust? I hate to inform you but you, sir, are now officially a baker.

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Tiny Urban Kitchen November 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Wow, for someone who has never made pie you totally rocked this “pie”! Your crust is absolutely perfect, and I love the idea of using slices of pumpkin on top of the tart. Great job!

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momgateway November 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Beautiful is the word that best describes this roasted candied pumpkin tart. Can’t wait to try a piece!

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Prerna@IndianSimmer November 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Loved the recipe but more than that LOVED those innocent eyes of the li’l one :-)
You have a gorgeous space here! Glad to find you through foodgawker!

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I’m looking through your site, and am dumbfounded that we have not virtually met until today. Really nice work. Glad to find you, too!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking November 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I know I tweeted you, but I wanted to comment as well. I love your writing, and loved reading about your thought process and recipe development here! Great job on this challenge!

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Ben November 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I suppose I can live with both comments and tweets. (Did I use the word “showered?” ;) ) Thanks so much for your kind words.

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Steph in Dubai November 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I love this recipe and I love your blog! Great job!

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Mariko November 30, 2010 at 12:01 am

That girl is adorable.
I’m reading it for the second time and realizing the nightmare you’re talking about has to do with how much trial and error went into the dish.
It’ll all be worth it when you get to the next round. Then you can relax and eat at a restaurant for the critique. Or 30.

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Heather November 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

That first photo looks like Renaissance art work!! Absolutely beautiful.

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Lana November 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

I just love your approach to food-related mysteries – so adventurous and so analytical:) And we all get the benefits of your hard work.
My mother often made a simple dessert of roasted pumpkin with brown sugar and cinnamon, and even though it was not one of my favorites, I had an idea how pumpkin tastes. But, you are right – many times we describe it through the “pumpkin pie spices”.
I like the frangipane made with pumpkin seeds. My husband is deathly allergic to almonds and I am constantly looking for substitutions.
I am impressed with your wife’s Caravaggio photo. And your daughter is a beauty.
Great post, as always!
Good luck!

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Ben November 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

+50 pts for guessing Caravaggio as an inspiration :)

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sippitysup November 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The word classic comes to mind. As does elegant, followed quickly by the phrase, more please!

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stephchows November 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Love it! You’ve got my vote!

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Diana@Spain in Iowa November 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Ben, this is a beautiful dessert. I love that you included pumpkin seed, funny because I was trying to think of how I could include the seeds in mine. I’ll have to try this as it looks beautiful!

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Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food November 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Wow, this looks delicious! I bet it would go great with a pint of the microbrewed pumpkin ale I tried in central PA this past weekend…

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Margaret @ Savory Sweet Living November 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I can definitely relate as I’m a cliche savory cook who doesn’t bake. I’ve always been intimidated, but practice makes it perfect as you proof it in this post. I love that you utilize all parts of the pumpkin. Great job!

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners November 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

beautiful post. beautiful pictures. i hope you win.

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zmm November 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Beautiful pie..
Did you put up that nice table for photographing the pie?
It’s taken to look like the cover of some new book. :)

Good luck and voted for you. I’m going to come back and try this recipe one day when I get a nice pumpkin from the market.

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Hyosun Ro November 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Ben – I started to get tired of my same old pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. Next time I am going to use your recipe to challenge myself. The pumpkin pie looks beautiful, and your daughter is adorable. You certainly have my vote. Best luck with the rest of the journey!

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David Barzelay December 1, 2010 at 1:08 am

What does pumpkin taste like? Ha! You’re right about the usual accompanying flavors standing in for actual PUMPKIN flavor. I used nutmeg and cinnamon to make some pumpkin tuiles taste more pumpkin-y at the last LAZY Bear.

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Ben December 1, 2010 at 5:10 am

LOL. So I obviously didn’t stray far from the pumpkin spice suite of flavors. Partly, you get more of the pumpkin flavor because the slices themselves have less moisture and are more concentrated (and thicker than a tuile). The toasted seeds also add a dimension that’s atyptical of a frangipane. Thanks for reading, Chef!

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Hot Polka Dot's Mom December 1, 2010 at 6:40 am

Fragrant, elegant and oh so creative. The addition of the candied slices of pumpkin transform this tart into art. Lovely!

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Nancy/SpicieFoodie December 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Simply Amazing! The pie looks scrumptious and the first photo is breath taking. You definitely have my vote and best of luck and continued success!

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eataduckimust December 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm

now THIS is a proper dessert. as you may have never had an entremet, i don’t think i’ve ever had a frangipane tart. but now i find myself closing my eyes and drooling for one. i really admire your multiple attempts to get it right, um and your writing skills too.

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Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) December 2, 2010 at 4:25 am

I can understand your desire to step away from pumpkins after reading all these wonderful posts I have to admit I’m on pumpkin overload myself :) However after hearing the words pie, frangipane and pumpkin in the same sentence my palate once again opens up and I’m curious about that marriage. This looks amazing and this may actually be one recipe that I may try.

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lauren zabaneh December 2, 2010 at 5:12 am

this was gorgeous! I really love the part about the overflowing butter, your trial and error and pursuit of making this amazing tart WITH chunks (or slices) of real pumpkin. The pumpkin seeds were genius as well. Looking forward to your review!

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Quay Po Cooks December 2, 2010 at 8:18 am

Your pumpkin pie ROCKS! LOVE it. You got my vote again! Best of luck!

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Annalise December 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

You have become one of my favorite competitors. Once again, a brilliant post! You have my vote!

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Marie (Food Nouveau) December 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I absolutely love the composition of your very first picture. Could be a nature morte hung at the Louvre!

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Lori Lynn December 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I adore your still life shot! Bravo and good luck!
LL

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Stay-At-Home-Chef December 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Now THAT is a pumpkin pie – wowser! Just might have to give this recipe a try one day soon. Good luck :)

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Faith Kramer December 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Loved this recipe and thought you should have advanced.
Creative and appealing.
Congrats on making it so far.

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Ben December 4, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments. I wouldn’t have made it this far without your support.

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Jennifer Doebbler December 9, 2010 at 4:43 am

Seeing as I have a bag of pumpkin seeds taunting me from the kitchen right now, I just may have to try this out. Thanks for the link to the blog I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

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Marcie July 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Ben,
You have always known what to do with pumpkin. I remember one of our Turkey Day feasts where you & Tiff made pumpkin ravioli & a ragout with spelt. The ravioli was so yum that when we came back from pool, you and I were eating it cold. Also, you were imbided enough, you put a turkey leg in your mouth & shake it like a dog. One of my funniest memories of you.

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Jenna November 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

Late to the party, but thrilled beyond belief to have found this recipe! As someone with celiac, I am used to having to dance about recipes to get things to work without the usual go-to of gluten so a pie crust is a doddle to work out. But being allergic to nuts as well? Gah. (Especially as nut flours in general and ground almonds in particular are the main go-to for so many GF recipes) I’ve been longing to try quite a few recipes lately that all seem to require frangipane, but wasn’t willing to spend time with the epi-pen to taste them. The pumpkin seed idea is brilliant and I’m off to give this a whirl right away. And as for the candied pumpkin filling? Joy unbridled at the thought – from late August until early April my husband would happily eat pumpkin (and all it’s squashy kin) 3x a day, everyday, if I let him. And while I enjoy the flavor myself, it can get rather old fast so I’m always on the lookout for a new way to spin it. Thanks so much!

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