Pumpkin Day

Saturday, October 26 is National Pumpkin Day! For cooking, it doesn't always have to be pumpkin pie.
October 26, 2013 5:45:43 AM PDT
Pumpkins are of course all around us right now, in part because of Halloween. And on Saturday, October 26, 2013, they're even more in the spotlight: it's National Pumpkin Day! For cooking, it doesn't always have to be just pumpkin pie.

Mat Wiltzius, Chef de Cuisine at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, came into our ABC7 studio to show us great recipes for this fruit.

Chef Mat's Recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes


5 1/2 cups Cake Flour
2 TB Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 TB Baking Powder
1 TB Baking Soda
1/2 cup Sugar
1 TB Salt
5ea Eggs
3 3/4 cups Buttermilk
1 tsp Ground Allspice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Sarsaparilla Root
2 cup Roasted Pumpkin Puree (2 small baking pumpkins)


Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice the pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and reserve for the toasted pepita topping.

Lightly oil the inside of each half and season with salt.

Place the halves face side up on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender and lightly caramelized, about 40 minutes.

After the pumpkins have cooled to the touch, remove the pumpkin rind and discard.

Puree the roasted pumpkin until smooth.

Sift the flour, sugar, salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree and buttermilk and then add to the flour mixture.

Whisk until combined being careful to not over mix - lumps should still be present.

Let the batter rest in the refrigerator overnight in a large covered container (batter will double in size).

Spiced Apple Compote


2 cups Honeycrisp Apple (cored, medium dice)
1 cup Pumpkin (peeled, medium dice)
1 cup Apple Cider
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Coriander (freshly ground)
1/2 tsp Allepo Pepper
1ea Cinnamon Stick
2 TB Sherry Vinegar
2 TB Butter


Combine all ingredients in a small pot, heat on medium until the liquid has reduced by ¾. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Toasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Take the reserved pumpkin seeds, and rinse well under cool water.

Place on paper towels to dry.

Transfer seeds to a baking sheet, season lightly with vegetable oil and salt and then roast in the oven at 350F until golden.

Cool and reserve.

For the Pancakes:

Heat 1 TB of oil in a non stick skillet.

Pour a 1/2 cup of the batter in the pan and cook until bubbles form evenly throughout (about 1 ½ minutes), flip and cook for an additional minute.

To finish, place three pancakes on a plate, top with a ¼ cup of the apple compote and your favorite pure maple syrup.

Sprinkle with the toasted pepitas and serve.

Spiced Orchard Cocktail


1oz spiced rum
.5oz orange brandy
1oz apple cider
2 pinches of ground cinnamon (divided)
Pinch of white sugar
Orange slice


Rim champagne flute with fresh orange slice.

Discard orange.

Pinch equal parts of cinnamon and sugar onto a plate, lightly press rim onto plate to create cinnamon-sugar rim.

In a separate glass, add rum, brandy, cider and one pinch of cinnamon.

Add ice, shake and strain.

Pour into champagne flute and top with your favorite bubbly.

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