Fall is synonymous with spicy, often pumpkin-y, foods and drinks. We asked our writers to share their favorite pumpkin treat ideas with you. Their ideas run the gamut from pumpkin beer to pumpkin bread to pumpkin soup. Enjoy!
Raise your holiday spirits with a Pumpkin Porter!
Immediately after Neighbors publisher Cheryl Fallstead said that my contribution to this issue’s Fabulous Food section could be a review of a pumpkin beer, I ran out to Celebrate (2500 S. Valley Dr.) to find an appropriate brew.
To my mind, nothing says the holidays like (responsibly) enjoying a seasonal adult beverage, either at home or at any the several fine craft brewpubs here in town. I brought home a 22-ounce bottle of Alaskan Pilot Series Imperial Pumpkin Porter (“ale brewed with pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices”), and my husband and I shared it as a treat after a late dinner.
The Alaskan Imperial Pumpkin Porter is for sipping and savoring. Both my husband and I enjoyed it — it’s the type of beer that will warm your belly during the coldest of winter months. Breathing in the aroma, the idea of “beer” left my head — I was reminded more of a heavy, sweet mulled wine, with the scent of spices, malt, and brown sugar coming through, with an essence of pumpkin.
This was confirmed with the first sip — it has a pleasant and substantial mouth feel, with just that hint of pumpkin. Instead of a pint glass, I would choose to serve this porter in smaller servings as an after-dinner dessert drink. That said, I could make the case for sitting next to a fire with a good book and a pint of this porter to be enjoyed in small doses over an hour or so. Regardless of your preference, keep in mind not to let yourself be fooled by the sweetness — it is an imperial (extra strong) porter with an 8.5% alcohol content. Here’s mud in your eye!
Written by Daniel Gonzalez | Photography by Amanda Chavez
Now, I love pumpkin pie, and I don’t think it is replaceable after your Thanksgiving meal, however, a few years ago, my family began a new fall tradition . . . the pumpkin sundae! The pumpkin sundae was brought about when one of my kids was trying to do a zero-waste project for school, and wanted to know how we could use the left-over pumpkin pieces that we usually throw out after making jack-o’-lanterns. After carving the pumpkins, we take all the pieces that we poked out, cut off the outer shell, and cook it slowly with brown sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, star anise, some lemon and orange juice, and a pinch of red chile powder. After cooking down the pumpkin and allowing time for it to cool, we then fold it into our favorite vanilla ice cream, top it with Arnold Bros. pecans, caramel, Halloween candy (optional), and a homemade cinnamon whipped cream. For the kids, this has become the favorite part of the pumpkin carving night, and has become my favorite holiday pumpkin dessert.
New Mexico Pumpkin Seeds
By Zak Hansen
All apologies to Linus and the Great Pumpkin, what do you do with those post-jack-o’-lantern pumpkin guts? Roast pumpkin seeds, of course! For a sweet and spicy, very New Mexican take on this simple autumn snack, a hat tip to Will Barnes at IAmNM.com for this recipe. After you’ve cleaned the larger, stringy bits of pumpkin from the seeds, soak them in a salt brine overnight, rather than crust them with salt that just won’t stick. After your seeds have soaked, strain the brine and get them as dry as possible, but leave the shells a little moist. Time to add ingredients! First comes lemon zest, along with a quick squeeze of lemon juice, then the partially melted butter, Hatch red chile powder, and honey — New Mexico honey, if you’ve got it. Mix them until the seeds are thoroughly coated, then roast them in a cast-iron skillet, or bake in a 300-degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and aromatic. Enjoy!
1 medium pumpkin
2 tablespoons Hatch red chile powder
1 tablespoon 100% pure local
New Mexico honey
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup butter
Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup
Written and photography by Cheryl Fallstead
My husband, Brian, and I love the Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup at Passion Pie Café in Truth or Consequences. It is a delicious and healthy post-soak meal, but due to their limited hours, we sometimes come by too late and leave empty handed (and with growling stomachs). Brian, our resident soup master, was determined he could replicate it at home and after some experimentation, he came up with a worthy reproduction of their soup. It can be either a first course or a light meal supplemented by some local bread, including our favorites from Popular Artisan Bread Bakery at Zeffiro’s in Las Cruces. Feel free to adjust seasonings to your taste, using milder or hotter versions of curry and chile powders. Simply add the ingredients to a large saucepan, stir, and heat until the flavors are well blended. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup water
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons curry powder (choose based on heat level you desire)
1 tablespoon chile powder (we like Penzey’s Chile 9000)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea
Written and photography by Hannah Perry
This little eye-catcher is called Pumpkin Pie Chai tea. The blend is made up of honeybush tea with pumpkin pieces, licorice root, cinnamon bark, cardamom, ginger, cloves, safflower, and natural pumpkin pie flavor. The warm blend of spices works well together to create a tea that has a deep red color and a bold natural pumpkin flavor. If it already wasn’t good enough, this blend also has some impressive natural health benefits. Honeybush tea is a naturally caffeine-free South African herb that is high in minerals and antioxidants, is a natural xpectorant, helps lower blood sugar, reduces blood lipids, and alleviates menopausal symptoms. You can find it at Old Barrel Tea Company, a little hidden gem tucked away in the enchanting town of old Mesilla, located at 2319 Calle de Santiago. The family run, female-owned business is just as charming as it is quirky and colorful. Stop in for a cup of pumpkin Pie Chai with a little sugar and a dash of cream on a cool fall morning, and you’re bound to have a good day.
Directions: Use 1 – 2 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of water. Steep in cup or pot using an infuser for 10 minutes. Add a
sprinkle of sugar and a splash of cream to turn your Pumpkin Pie Chai into a hug in a cup.
A Maple Glazed Pumpkin Indulgence
Written by Jessica Salopek | Photography courtesy Nessa’s Café
Vanessa Smith has been getting creative in the kitchen most of her life, and baking professionally for about eight years now. In early 2016, she opened Nessa’s Café, which has developed a loyal following of patrons who stop in for not just the great coffee, but also the ever-changing array of delightful baked goods. Nessa says she often bases her sweet treat lineup off whatever’s in season, and she tries to throw in something that will appeal to most every palate. “I’ll do some with nuts, some with fruit, some with chocolate, so everyone gets something they like,” she says. Come fall, this is one of my favorite places to partake of a pumpkin-flavored indulgence. The pecan pumpkin scones are definitely something special. They offer up that just right blend of crunch and softness, a texture that’s often hard to perfect in a scone. And the maple glaze topping takes this treat from delicious to delectable. Nessa confirms she will be bringing back the popular scones this year, but don’t overlook some of her other pumpkin fare, including a deliciously moist pumpkin bread and pies of all varieties. (Give her three days’ notice and she’ll whip up the perfect pie or cake for your holiday get together.) “I’ve also been getting into cream puffs, so you may see some pumpkin cream puffs on the menu this year, too,” she adds.
Nessa’s Café, 901 W. Picacho Ave., facebook.com/nessascafe
Homemade Pumpkin Loaf
Written and photography by Cassie McClure
I weaned my mom off chain shop coffee, but the cravings were still there for another vice that came on the side — the pumpkin loaf. We had to find a way to replicate it, if just to save the absurd amount per slice they charge. It’s not so much about capturing a strong pumpkin flavor, even though the recipe calls for a lot, but we wanted a subtle, less-sweet option for a sensible afternoon pick-me-up. There’s also the debate about how many preservatives might be in the store-bought version, so homemade — with all ingredients in our control — was the way to go. We adapted this recipe from the website Sally’s Baking Addiction with the possibly overhyped title of “The Best Pumpkin Bread.” It was good, but we fiddled with a couple different versions to get a less sweet, and denser, result. We were surprised with the use of orange juice, usurped oils for butter, and added about 20 minutes of baking time. The fall spices are what make it: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but we also added a dash of allspice, and decided to forego the chocolate chips called for in the recipe. You may want to use more pumpkin than you think — and we went with the can option — so get the bigger can. My mom said the real secret ingredient was her little helpers, her six-year-old granddaughter and three-year-old grandson. They, unfortunately, are currently not for hire. Original recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bread.
This article was originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com