Pumpkin is a wonderful seasonal vegetable that rises to prominence in our kitchens during the fall and remains there throughout the holiday season. Even though “pumpkin spice” appears in all kinds of dishes, from drinks to desserts, pumpkin itself often only turns up in pumpkin pies and a few other baked goods. Pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in all kinds of recipes, and with Cooking with Pumpkin, you’ll find dozens of recipes that will give you even more reasons to stock up on pumpkin this year.
Although the book has “cooking” in the title, this book is stacked heavily in favor of baking recipes. As a baker, I don’t find that to be a bad thing and people looking for baking recipes will be pleasantly surprised when they pick up the title. Those looking for a book that has primarily savory items may be disappointed. The book opens with a brief introduction to working with pumpkin and to the other ingredients you might need as you work your way through the recipes before jumping straight into them. The first section of the book is devoted to breads, muffins and pastries, featuring everything from Good Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread to crumb cakes that sound perfect for a fall brunch. Cookies, cakes, pies and an ice cream recipe follow in subsequent chapters. After the sweet stuff, you’ll find the savory section that contains a few bread, soup and other recipes that can help you get from breakfast to dessert. The final chapter focuses on drinks, including a homemade pumpkin spice latte.
The recipes in this book rely on canned pumpkin puree. I often recommend using canned pumpkin puree because it is a very easy product to work with and it ensures that you will get consistent results in your dishes. You can always make your own pumpkin puree with a little extra time, however you will have to take care that it is as smooth as possible when you puree it so that you get the same results as you would with the canned pumpkin. The recipes are clearly written, made with easy to find ingredients and yield relatively small batches, all of which mean that this is a book that anyone who loves to bake with pumpkin is going to get a lot of use from.