It’s fall! Around here that means harvest and our harvest isn’t just corn and soybeans, but pumpkins as well.
Below is one of our very favorite pumpkin recipes. Two things to note regarding this recipe - the extra work of using fresh pumpkin purée is 100% worth it and although this is a great dish for your cast iron skillet, it can also be prepared in a cake pan.
Fresh Pumpkin Crisp
Fresh pumpkin purée recipe can be found here.
Fresh Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups fresh pumpkin purée (You can substitute one 15 oz. can of pumpkin purée)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup milk or heavy cream
2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray and flour a cast iron skillet or cake pan.
2. Whisk together all filing ingredients except the milk. Slowly add milk, whisking as you pour. The mixture will be very runny. Pour this into your prepared baking dish.
3. In a clean bowl, mix together dry topping ingredients until well mixed. Add butter and mix with fork until crumbly. Topping will be dry but crumbly. Evenly spread this on top of the filling in baking dish.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. Crisp is done when firm set.
Best served warm, with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Making fresh pumpkin purée is easy and delicious. It can be frozen for long term storage as well.
Different pumpkins will have different tastes, color and texture, so if you feel adventurous, try a few different types. The seed flavor and texture can vary as well, making for a fun and unique snack if you like roasted pumpkin seeds.
The classic pie pumpkins are smaller, orange pumpkins as pictured above. If you are buying from the farm, ask the growers what their favorites are!
Fresh Pumpkin Purée
What you need:
1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
2. Remove pumpkin stem and slice in half.
3. Clean the middle of pumpkins out. Set aside seeds for roasting if you’d like.
4. Lay pumpkins meat side down on pan.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
6. Clean skin off pumpkins.
7. Use a food processor or blender to purée pumpkin.
8. If pumpkin is too try, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If pumpkin is too wet, drain excess water.
1/2 Cup of white wine
1/2 Cup of red wine vinegar
1 Tbs garlic salt
2 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp black pepper
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Stir together all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly add the olive oil, beating in with a whisk. Marinate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Leg Dry Rub:
1 tbs onion powder
2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons marjoram
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dijon or yellow mustard
Mix all dry ingredients together. Put a light coating of mustard on leg, then sprinkle meat with dry rub.
Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees. Place lamb in smoker and maintain between 275-300 degrees. Cook lamb to 145 degrees for medium rare (lamb is best served medium rare).
We usually pull ours out at 140 degrees and it will raise to 145 by the time we serve.
Allow to rest 20 minutes prior to slicing.
This was our Easter Dinner this year, but this is also a favorite recipe for first time lamb trusts. We've convinced many people to try lamb with this smoked leg, almost all of whom have found they really love it!
And after Easter Dinner this year... we played in the snow. No joke. (I am so over this winter.)
1 Whole Chicken
2 Tbs oil
1 packet ranch dressing or dip mix
1 packet onion soup mix
1 tsp paprika
2-Tbs fresh garlic
1 large yellow onion
Directions for cooking (slow cooker or smoker):
1. Rinse whole chicken and pat dry. Rub oil on chicken.
2. Mix ranch, onion soup mix, paprika together and rub on chicken.
3. Quarter onion, mix with garlic and place inside of bird.
4. Refrigerate overnight (optional).
5. Place is slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low OR...
Place in a 250 degree smoker for 3-4 hours until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
6. Allow bird to rest 10-15 minutes before serving.
1. All chicken sold in the USA is antibiotic free! No chicken raised in the USA is raised with any added hormone! (No labels needed!)
2. Buy local if you'd like - you'll support your neighbor farmers and your chicken will be fresh!
Or... Buy one at the store! Your chicken will still be delicious and fresh, plus you're still supporting family farmers! Farmers often grow the crops and livestock that make the most economic sense for their area, soils, weather patterns and availability of resources! Many of your chickens will be produced by family farms in Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama!
Remember 93% of farms are family owned and just because they aren't local to you doesn't mean they aren't awesome at what they do and well worth supporting!
3. Conventional or organic onion? It's up to you! Just remember, organic and conventional are simply production methods.
The resulting onions are the same in terms of nutrition, safety and flavor! And you guessed it - you're supporting family farmers either way!
I married into a farming family. And when you marry into a farming family you realize they take some things very seriously. And this family takes gardening, and sweet corn, very, very seriously!
A few years ago I had the privilege of spending the day with my husband’s grandparents and learning about how his Grandma freezes corn – she does dozens and dozens of quarts each year. A few years later my father in law added an office and small kitchen on to his shop – so the corn freezing moved there and now they freeze with assembly line efficiency!
So today that is what they did – they picked, cleaned, boiled, cut and froze corn. The whole family got in the action – from my baby boy who just turned one to great Grandma Mildred and Great Grandpa PD who have been married over sixty years!
The steps (and pictures) we took are below. Enjoy and let me know what your family does differently!
1. Pick or buy the corn. If you are buying to freeze, make sure and ask the folks you buy your corn from. Often they will have a discounted price on multiple dozen and sometimes they will have a special price for "freezer corn". This may be some of the smaller ears (that often taste better!) or some of the corn that had the tops stolen by birds or raccoons and you can just cut those spots off.
2. Shuck the corn. Grandpa and Grandson make a great team for this.
3. Desilk the corn. There is a silk for each kernel on the cob. The silk is what transfers the pollen down to the plant to make the kernel! But, they get stuck in your teeth so its best to get rid of them before you freeze.
The first time I froze corn with Grandma Mildred she showed me how to take a paper towel and rub it up and down the ear to remove most of the silks pretty quickly. It was still quite a process.
This year however we had a MAJOR upgrade in our project. Check out the below images of this electric corn desilker!
4. Check ears for bad spots and remove. Quickly look over the ears and using a sharp knife, remove any areas that have animal damage or undeveloped kernels that you won't want to cut off into your final corn.
5. Place ears into a large pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Keeping the water hot through multiple batches gets tricky!
6. Remove the corn from the boiling water and place immediately into an ice bath. Leave corn in ice water just long enough to cool the ears down to where you can easily handle them.
7. Cut the corn off the cob. Grandpa Paul reminded me to be careful not to cut too deep into the cob or this winter when you go to eat it the corn will taste like cob instead! After you cut the kernels off, scrape up and down the ear to release some additional sugar from the ear.
8. Put the corn into freezer tubs or freezer bags. Make sure and leave some extra room in the containers because they will expand when they freeze.
9. Cover with salt water mixture. Grandma Mildred suggests a teaspoon of salt per quarter of water for the salt water mixture.
10. Put into your freezer and remove sometime this winter when the memory of 100 degree days has long since faded!
Quick Steps to Freezing Corn:
1. Pick or buy corn.
2. Shuck corn.
3. Desilk corn.
4. Check for bad spots and remove.
5. Boil corn for 3-4 minutes.
6. Place corn into ice bath.
7. Cut the corn off cob and scrape sides for extra sugars.
8. Put into containers.
9. Cover with salt water mixture (1 tsp salt/ quart water)
10. Freeze and enjoy!
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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