This is a guest post from the lovely Lark.  She was so excited about Three Chicks Talking About Food she wanted to talk about food, too!  Welcome!

fairytalepumpkinI love pumpkin.  It smells fantastic when it cooks, it is very forgiving–you can neglect the little monster like crazy and do other stuff while the actual roasting takes place and once baked it keeps well in the refrigerator for days.  Most importantly pumpkin is delicious and has a much broader repertoire than the typical dessert it is consigned to.  A baked pumpkin puree adds moisture, heartiness and subtle sweetness to baked goods and can easily cross into the savory side of the meal.

Pumpkin extravaganza!  I started with a beautiful Fairytale pumpkin that looked like this (not my pumpkin, I gnabbed this picture from Tom and Victor’s Totally Joyous Recipes).

According to (I love you, internet) the Fairytale pumpkin is “deeply ribbed and has a very smooth hard surface. It is dark green in color when immature, and as it cures it turns a gorgeous deep mohagony.”  It is a French pumpkin and at home is known as Musque De Provence.  Leave it to the French to grow a pumpkin ribbed for my pleasure.

I had to roast the pumpkin in shifts because of its enormity and my puny oven size.  I hacked the pumpkin in half and placed it in a 9X13 glass baking dish.  At 350 F it took about an hour and a half to roast.  Next time I will put a bit of water at the bottom of the baking dish to ease the post-roast cleanup.  Once I scooped it out of the shell and filled my plastic tubs I was left with a tower of pumpkin.  I will do some baking with the delicious orange pulp and I also plan on making this pumpkin gnocchi recipe later in the week: Pumpkin Gnocchi.  I can attest to the delicious cleverness of many of the recipes over at Brokeass Gourmet but the cunning method of making gnocchi with ricotta and flour instead of potato flour is by far my favorite.  It makes for quick, impressive fresh pasta.

One disappointment about the Fairytale, because the pumpkin is so meaty the body cavity is small and there wasn’t a wealth of pumpkin seeds to bake, but there were enough to fill the bottom of a 9X9 pan and they roasted while I fixed my pumpkin bread batter.  I used the recipe MAdame Saslow posted earlier this week for Pumpkin Gingerbread.  The only change I made was to leave out the brown sugar and substitute ginger puree for powdered ginger.  I’m glad

I left out the extra sweetener, because the molasses and the squash itself were certainly sweet enough.  Next time I might add walnuts, dried cranberries or little pieces of dried ginger as the original recipe suggest to change up the texture.  Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my breadpans, so instead of a bananabread-style soft loaf I decided to use my muffin tin.  It made 16 muffins. After baking the muffins for about 20 minutes they were moist and tender at the center and had a nice slightly crispy edge (I attribute this wonderful texture to the large amount of butter in the recipe.)

Mmmmm, muffins for dinner.