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Pumpkin and Pear Post Produce: October, 2011

Let’s start with “Post Produce.” Inspired by Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, Your Small Kitchen Garden blog sponsors Post Produce on the 22nd of every month. I encourage bloggers everywhere to tell the world what they’re consuming from their kitchen gardens. Do you have fresh produce? Are you using preserves?

Post your Produce and then return here and link to your blog so other Post Produce participants can see. I hope you’ll join me this month. (Here’s more about Post Produce.)

And My Produce Is…

This isn’t all the squash I’ve harvested, and there’s still more in the garden. Notice the two rather small squashes on the left side of the stack. One of those cooked down into exactly a cup of mashed squash that went into a pear and pumpkin pie.

For this, the second ever Post Produce, I present pumpkin! Well… it’s actually butternut squash, but I use winter squashes and pumpkins interchangeably in my baking. I have quite a heap of butternut squashes and neck pumpkins, and there are still four decent-looking but very small blue hubbard squashes on the vines.

But the story actually begins with pears. Pears have teased me for more than a decade as I’ve experimented to find compelling ways to incorporate them into baked goods. I’ve learned that concentrating pear juice by boiling away a lot of water barely intensifies the flavor, and by the time even very thick pear syrup combines within cake or bread, it might just as well have been raw sugar.

I’ve also made many custards that contained pear juice, but they’ve all tasted pretty much like regular old custard. In fact, this year I thought I’d finished with my whole “baking with pears” period. And then it struck me: I’ve had pumple pie a few times, and was always unimpressed (pumple is pumpkin pie with embedded apple chunks). But it seemed to me that combining pears with pumpkin would result in a much more compelling pie filling.

Ready for pie? Pears and raisins add texture and visual appeal to a slice of pumpkin pie. Please let me know what you think if you bake one of these beauties.

Experimenting with Pears and Pumpkin

I’ve made a few pear and pumpkin pies in the past few weeks. The first was poached pears baked into pumpkin custard, and it was fine. However, I felt it could use a bit more texture, so I made another that included homemade raisins. Along with texture, these provide flavor bursts that make the pie complex and unique.

I hope you’ll try my pear and pumpkin pie. If you do, please let me know what you think of it. I’ll be serving this at Thanksgiving, but I’ll probably bake a few others as long as there are fresh pears available at the local farmers’ market.

I put the recipe for pear and pumpkin pie on another page so it wouldn’t slow the loading of my blog. It contains a list of ingredients along with step-by-step instructions and many photos. Find them on the page titled Cooking Pear and Pumpkin Pie from Your Small Kitchen Garden.

Now You Post Produce!

Show off your garden produce in your blog. Then, return here and create a link to your Post Produce post. After you link, leave a comment so other participants can find you!



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7 Responses to “Pumpkin and Pear Post Produce: October, 2011”

  • Oh, my, so much zucchini this year. I do love zucchini bread, but I am pleased to have found two great dishes to add to my collection: zucchini fritters and an amazing Martha Stewart zucchini bundt cake with orange glaze that also works well made up as muffins. Mmmmm. Also, learning that you can freeze pre-grated zucchini has been a god-send, because now I can eat these tasty dishes all winter long. Now, what to do with all of that spaghetti squash?

  • Love this recipe, thanks for posting! And thanks for hosting Post Produce!

  • Mark:

    That pie looks so good! The only time I’ve cooked pears is to make Julia’s Tarte aux Poires and the rest of the time I just eat them plain and raw. We’ve had some really delicious local ones lately.

    I’ve just posted my first Post Produce. Not sure if this is the correct way to share, but here it is

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Mark: Thanks so much for participating. I’ll have a look at your post later tonight. The link in your comment is good, but at the very end of my Post Produce post you’ll find Mr Linky’s Magical Widget. There’s a place there for you to enter your name and the URL that holds your Post Produce post. Ideally, fill in the Mr Linky form which encourages you also to leave a comment… That gathers all the Post Produce posts into an easy-to-use link list for people who want to browse each others’ posts.

    Thanks again!

  • Great idea! Thanks for hosting. And that pie looks delicious.

  • Mark:

    Ah ha! No-Script was blocking Mr. Linky. I could see him on my iPod but not here. Script enabled so now I can do it correctly. Thanks for hosting this. Can’t wait to see what November brings us all.

  • Tracibub:

    I find pear to be such a mild flavor as well. My favorite application is for hard pear cider… Ha! However, this year I had the opportunity to get a 40 lb. box of pears for cheap, grown in Oregon. So I canned most of them in quart jars, but a few…. a few I left out and made this:

    And it was AWESOME. The vanilla bean is the perfect addition. I <3 it on peanut butter, or on plain toast. :)

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