With tomorrow being Hallowe’en, all things pumpkin are on many people’s minds so today I thought I would share a couple favourite “French” pumpkin recipes, collected from my years of working my way though Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table.
One of my favourite interpretations of pumpkin in Dorie’s Around my French Table was Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.
Basically a pumpkin, scooped out and stuffed with bread, cheese, bacon, herbs and a little cream, this dish presents beautifully on the table and when you pull off the lid it definitely has the WOW factor. If you don’t include the bacon (and as Dorie says, the recipe is more like a loose outline of what to do – it’s very open to interpretation in terms of ingredients), you’ve got an amazing vegetarian main course!
Something a little different, but equally appropriate for cold weather are these adorable Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans
The recipe calls for canned pumpkin but you can roast and puree your own pumpkin if you have the time. With eggs and cream, these are rich, custardy little flans that can be served in their ramekins or you can unmold them if you prefer. The blue cheese and walnuts is an inspired combination of nutty and sweet and sharp all in one great bite.
Something a little decadent to end this French Friday – a comfort food dish that wouldn’t be out of place as you celebrate Hallowe’en. This is a recipe I developed years ago (for a food blogging contest) but never published the recipe. My thoughts turned to all things comfort food this week as the temperatures have dropped and this is a perfect little dish to enjoy on your front porch tomorrow evening as you sit in the cold and hand out treats to the trick or treaters passing by.
Say what? Tartiflette is basically a layered potato, bacon, cheese, cream and onion gratin, made with nutty Reblochon cheese.
(Tartiflette image via Shutterstock)
I’ve made the original version before (excuse the awful photos!), then because I loved the flavours, so much that I created a version using mashed potatoes. Much like a savoury crème brûlée, you break a crispy cheesy crust to reveal soft, fluffy decadent mashed potatoes underneath. Heaven in a ramekin! PLUS, it is ready in about 30 minutes! Perfect for a cold winter night!
This version uses a combination of pumpkin or squash I’ve puréed myself mixed with a tiny bit of canned purée to mimic the properties of creamy mashed potatoes (100% canned purée might be a little bit sloppy here). I already knew from the pumpkin gorgonzola flans (above ^^^) that I loved the cheese/ pumpkin combo but in this version, I substituted the Rebolchon cheese (used for regular tartiflette) for some semi soft-washed rind cheese (like a goat cheese, since Reblochon is not that easy to find).
Pumpkin tartiflette brûlée
All the flavours of a tartiflette using pumpkin instead of potatoes for a decadent side dish that's the ultimate in comfort food.
- 3/4 cup pumpkin or squash, mashed until smooth (don't use 100% canned purée, a mix of canned and homemade works well here. You're looking for a very smooth consistency like creamy mashed potatoes)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 6 slices bacon or pancetta, diced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons chives, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 200 grams soft-washed rind cheese, thinly sliced
- Pre-heat oven to 375˚F.
- Mix the pumpkin with the chives and crème fraîche in a small bowl and set aside.
- Fry onion in the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until translucent.
- Add the bacon or pancetta to the onion and fry until crispy.
- Add the wine and cook until reduced.
- Add the onion mix to the pumpkin and gently fold in to combine thoroughly.
- Place the purée in small buttered ramekin dishes and layer the cheese slices on the top.
- Bake for about 10 minutes at 375˚F, then broil on high (a couple of minutes, keep your eye on it!) until the cheese is bubbling and has formed a golden crust.
- Bon appétit!