The family all start groaning when the pumpkins are coming out of the garden. They claim they are still sick of pumpkin after the last season, however, I am skeptical because of how quickly these ice pops disappeared.
I am harvesting quantities of pumpkins now, in huge wheelbarrow loads between rain storms. Each one is carefully dried and stored inside. I cut the stems carefully with scissors or a knife, to keep them intact for storage. It’s getting crowded in the kitchen – we are almost out of shelf space, but there are still more pumpkins!
Planning for abundance is a big part of my garden plans. I try to plant enough pumpkins to make the goal of 52 pumpkins, at least. That’s a pumpkin a week for the entire year. The reality is that we eat much more pumpkin than that, and these will only last until about March, when it is time to plant pumpkins again. It’s good to have a break for a few months, and then we can celebrate having a delicious staple food available again.
This year we are getting primarily Queensland Blue pumpkins, North Georgia Candy Roaster pumpkins (actually not as sweet as the Seminoles, but grows and produces profusely), and my landrace pumpkin combination of Seminoles/Tahitian melons/Cassaba pumpkins. They are so beautiful! One of my favorite vegetables to grow, harvest, and eat.
I’ve grown many different varieties of pumpkin over the years (I am a sucker for seed catalogue pictures of beautiful pumpkins stacked up), and my very favorite has become my landrace pumpkin. Starchy, sweet, with excellent keeping and baking qualities. It’s sweet enough to be a dessert on it’s own, but substantial enough to snack on, and keeps month after month at room temperature, with no special storage.
To celebrate the pumpkin harvest, I have some pumpkin recipes to share. This is a late summer favorite (pumpkin season is August for us), and a frozen dessert is always more welcome than a hot-from-the-oven pie this time of year.
Pumpkin Pie Ice Pops
1 Seminole Pumpkin (or about 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin)
4 pastured egg yolks
3 cups cream (for a dairy-free version, try coconut milk)
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Cut pumpkin in half with a sturdy knife, and scoop out the seeds (save for toasted pumpkin seeds!)
- Roast cut-side down on a glass baking dish (or a cookie sheet covered with parchment) at 350F about 30-40 minutes, until soft.
- When the pumpkin is cool, scoop out the cooked pumpkin, and proceed:
- In a blender or food processor, blend up pumpkin, yolks, honey and spices until creamy and well-blended.
- With the motor running, add the cream (or coconut milk) in a steady drizzle.
- Blend for a few seconds more, until it is very well blended up. Pour into popsicle molds or cups (I have to say, I am very fond of making frozen desserts in cups instead of molds. The children can just grab them from the freezer, instead of fussing about with unmolding them.)
- Freeze for at least 4 hours. You can add a dot of fresh whipped cream for garnish, if you’d like.