We’ve got some beautiful fall squash in stock at the Co-op – the leaves are changing, we’re about to have our first big storm of the season, and that means it’s pumpkin time!
Making pumpkin purée from scratch isn’t really that much harder than opening a can, you just need a little time for it to cook. The easiest way to make purée is to wash your pumpkin, chop it in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp, sprinkle a little salt on the inside, put them on a baking sheet cut side down and cover with foil, and pop it in the oven for about an hour and a half. All told it takes all of ten minutes (or less) to prepare a pumpkin for purée – once it comes out of the oven it is so soft the skin falls right off and you can mash it with a spoon. If you get an in-season sugar pie pumpkin, you probably won’t even need to put it though a sieve!
That is exactly what I did for my recipe demo this week. I was looking for a really easy from-scratch pumpkin recipe that could be eaten on its own or made as a pie filling. This recipe came from Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis, MN. The original recipe would be enough for two pies or a crowd of people, and you can double the recipe to create this kind of quantity.
I used Mori Nu Firm Silken Tofu (which is shelf-stable, so don’t look for it with the refrigerated tofu!) – if you were making this recipe to fill a pie shell, then you would want to use Extra Firm silken tofu. Customers really loved the mousse, and many commented on how it was their first true taste of Fall!
Vegan Pumpkin Mousse
2 packages firm* silken tofu
¼ c molasses
½ c maple syrup
2 c cooked pumpkin **
¼ c apple cider
1 ½t vanilla extract
1 ½t cinnamon
¾ t nutmeg
*Use Extra Firm silken tofu if you are making as a pie filling.
** A 4 pound sugar pie pumpkin will yield about 1 ½ c of pumpkin purée.
1. Prepare your pumpkin(s) – wash outside of pumpkin and cut in half and discard the stem and the stringy pulp (save the seeds to dry and roast later!).
2. In a shallow baking dish, place pumpkin halves face down and cover with foil (you can choose to sprinkle a little sea salt on the inside if you wish).
3. Bake in a 375° oven for about 1 ½ hours or until it is tender. Let pumpkin cool, then remove the flesh and either purée or mash it.
4. Process tofu and pumpkin in a food processor until smooth.
5. Combine all other ingredients and add to the food processor. Process until creamy.
6. Fill individual dessert cups or pour into a pre-baked pie crust and chill until firm.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Clean all the pulp and strings off your seeds (it is easiest right after you have removed them from the pumpkin).
3. Put some melted butter or oil in a bowl, along with any seasonings you would like to add, and add pumpkin seeds—toss to coat.
4. Place seeds (in a single layer) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them, depending on the accuracy of your oven, they may cook more quickly, or they may take longer to cook.
6. Enjoy hot out of the oven, or cooled!