Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dried Pumpkin Chips

Pumpkin Crisps

In my college days a drawing professor advised our class to take credit for those things we've created by accident. It was one of those gems of advice that I recall whenever my kitchen accidentally turns out something completely different than what I was going for.

These crispy chips are one of those accidental miracles. The pumpkin flesh dries sweet and crispy without the addition of sugar and these make for some Vitamin A and fiber-rich snacking. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or some pumpkin pie spice for a fragrant variation.

1. Scoop out flesh and seeds of one 4-6 lb pie or sugar pumpkin; reserve seeds for roasting and eating.

2. Peel and slice flesh into 1/4" slices.  If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.  You could also try a combo of chili powder and cayenne pepper. 

3. Turn on dehydrator and dry pumpkin thoroghly for 10-12 hours or until crispy, rotating trays every couple of hours. 

Makes 4, 1 cup servings.  Per serving:

nutrition facts

Pumpkin Liqueur

Also known as Pumpkin Extract whenever the mood strikes for deep pumpkin flavor...

OK, this is simple and fantastic.  You just have to be willing to wait a month for the results.  Some things are worth the wait.

1 – Slice the top off of a of a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and loose flesh. Save those seeds for roasting and eating, they are good for you! Dump liter of vodka into pumpkin.

2 – Add ½ cup turbinado sugar(brown sugar would work), 2-3 sticks of cinnamon, 3-4 whole cloves, 3 cardamom pods and ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg.

3 – Return the lid to pumpkin and tape shut. Wrap well in plastic wrap to deter bugs from getting into the pumpkin. Place pumpkin in a large bowl in case it leaks.

4 – Store in a cool, dark place where the squirrels cannot get to it for at least a month (that's not a joke, they rip into the screen on my porch to get to this stuff). Be sure to label with contents so there is no confusion.

5 – Strain through a fine cloth and pour into jars with tight fitting lids. Mason jars work great and allow your guests to think you are swigging some high class swill when you sneak them out from the cupboards.

Use in pumpkin martinis, to flavor Pumpkin Love Bars and any other use where pumpkin-flavored liqueur seems fit.