From the pumpkin patch to the plate: Sweet and savory ways to cook with pumpkins

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Fall is right around the corner, which means pumpkins are in season!

Chef Miles Mitchell from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts joined ABC7 with sweet and savory recipes using the fall favorite.

For more information, visit the school's website, here.


Caramelized Ginger and Butternut Squash Tart, Gingersnap Crust, Bourbon Creme Chantilly

Gingersnap Crust:

For an 8-9" tart:
  • 2 cups Gingersnap cookies

  • Cup of Butter (melted)

  • Cup of Sugar

  • Cooking directions:
    Place cookies in a food processor until you have small, even crumbs or place cookies in a large, sealable freezer bag.

    Using a rolling pin, break up the cookies until you have small, even crumbs. Place crumbs into a medium sized bowl

    Melt the butter.

    Add the butter and sugar to the cookie crumbs and toss evenly to combine.

    Line your tart pan evenly with the cookie crumbs, pressing down firmly to the bottom and the sides..

    Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes just until it is set. Allow to cool before adding the filling.

    Ginger and Butternut Squash Tart Filling

  • 1 Butternut Squash, halved and baked until soft

  • 14 oz Sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 Tb fresh ginger, finely grated or tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • tsp salt

  • Sugar, as needed for brulee

  • Cooking directions:

    Preheat the oven to 350F.

    Wash and pat dry the squash. Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds. On a microwave safe plate, add about " of water and place the squash halves flesh side down on the plate. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes until you can easily pierce through it with a fork or paring knife. Allow squash to cool before scooping out the flesh.
    Place the squash, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.

    Pour mixture into the prepared and cooled gingersnap-lined tart pan. Bake at 350F for approximately 45-50 minutes until center is set.

    Allow to cool completely.

    When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar evenly across the surface of the tart. Using your kitchen torch, brulee the tart from the center and move outwards, keeping the flame moving and a few inches above the surface of the tart to caramelize.

    Top with bourbon creme chantilly to serve.

    Bourbon Creme Chantilly

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar

  • 2 Tb Bourbon

  • Cooking directions:

    **For best results, chill your bowl and whisk for 30 minutes before making the creme chantilly

    Place heavy whipping cream in a stainless steel bowl, and, using a whisk, whip until soft peaks form.

    Shake in the sugar and keep whipping until medium to firm peaks form.

    Add in the bourbon and whip just until incorporated.

    Do not overwhip. Serve immediately.

    Savory Pumpkin, Sausage and Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

    For a 9" square or oval baking dish

    1 loaf artisan bread with crust, cut into a 1-inch dice

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    8 sprigs of thyme, picked and chopped fine

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1 inch dice

    2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

    1 tablespoon of turmeric

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

    1 pound of fresh pork sausage

    2 leeks, trim root and use white part only, cut in half lengthwise, wash thoroughly and slice into inch thick pieces

    1 pound wild mushrooms of your choice (chanterelle, hen of the woods, or other), washed and dried, trimmed into roughly bite size pieces

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 cups heavy cream

    6 large eggs

    1 cup gruyere cheese, grated

    cup finely chopped parsley

    Cooking directions:
    Toss together diced bread, melted butter and thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper.

    Place ingredients on a baking sheet and toast in an oven preheated to 375 degrees until golden brown. Approximately 20-30 minutes.

    Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    Toss together diced pumpkin, olive oil, turmeric and two pinches each of salt and pepper.

    Place ingredients on a baking sheet and roast in an oven preheated to 375 degrees until tender.

    Remove when done and allow to cool.

    Preheat a large skillet. Add the olive oil and sausage in large pieces. Cook the sausage until done and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

    Using the same skillet; allow the skillet to cool down to a low heat, then add the leeks. Cook until leeks begin to soften then add mushrooms. Increase to a medium-high heat and continue to cook, stirring, until any liquid is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When done add the leek and mushroom mixture to the mixing bowl with the sausage and allow to cool.

    In a large bowl whisk together the cream, eggs, gruyere cheese and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.

    Combine the bread; pumpkin; and sausage, leek and mushroom mixture and fold together gently to keep the pumpkin pieces intact.

    Brush your baking dish with olive oil and place the combined ingredients in the dish.

    Add the cream, egg and cheese mixture. Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil and bake until done. Test doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the pudding. It should come out clean. This will take approximately 1 hour.

    Uncover and broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

    Cut into squares or spoon out for a rustic appearance and serve.

    (If all of the bread pudding mixture will not fit into your baking dish do not worry. You can place the extra pudding mixture in a smaller baking dish or individual ramekins. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.)
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