Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Cornmeal Biscuits

For the Kitchen Corners' October cook/bake-off!

I bought a sugar pumpkin at The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island, a wonderful place in Portland with farms and farm stores and haunted corn mazes and u-pick peaches, corn, and berries. It's where we went the day before my wedding to pick flowers for the tables.

Yesterday, I cooked the pumpkin and made an Indian Pumpkin soup, but still had pumpkin puree left. The soup wasn't awesome, so I didn't want to enter it into the cook-off, so I baked up some biscuits today.

The recipe comes from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics (and if you don't know Moosewood, you should), and was super simple and easy to make. These muffins happen to be vegan, but not all the Moosewood recipes are though most are vegetarian. I bet substituting butter for the margarine would not be detrimental, and I think adding an egg could only improve the consistency of these already delicious muffins.

1/4 c. margarine
1 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (fresh, or canned, but not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 c. plus 2 T. apple juice or cider

Preheat the oven to 425. Generously grease a baking sheet or cover with parchment.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the margarine. Add the brown sugar and mix until lump-free.

Whisk together the pumpkin and apple juice or cider. Pour into the flour mixture and stir briefly, just until well blended.

Drop the biscuits by 1/4 cups onto the baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart. Bake for about 20 minutes until puffed and very slightly brown around the edges and a toothpick tests clean. Serve immediately.

In the middle of baking I unexpectedly discovered my aunt from New Mexico was in town, and had to run out to spend a lovely fall afternoon exploring the city with her, leaving my incredibly and understandably stressed out room mate in charge of taking the biscuits out of the oven, resulting in their well-done status.