Fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year! It gets pumpkin crazy around our home as the baking begins. Of course, my very favorite pumpkins are all the glorious heirloom pumpkins. The many different shapes and colors of heirloom pumpkins are pure natural art from the earth.
My favorite pumpkin above all other pumpkins to bake with is the Jarrahdale. They have the richest and creamiest orange flesh with absolutely no strings inside. They have a mild, nutty, sweet flavor and perfect for pies.
The Jarrahdale is actually a winter squash, Cucurbita maxima, an Australian heirloom. They grow great in the garden, however, we do have our fair share of squash borers in the south that can be quite hard to deal with.
Last year I had the neighbor's chickens visiting my garden and they were gracious enough to try to help me with the squash borers, but actually dug them up causing their demise. I didn't have any luck with pumpkins this year in Texas due to extremely hot temperatures and what seems to be an endless drought. But I shall never give up on growing my pumpkin patch each year because I know how glorious they are when having a successful harvest.
To my sheer delight, the Jarrahdale has become popular at the supermarket. Everyone is so intrigued by my shopping cart stacked with a few of these blue beauties. I will confess that while they are in season I pick up several while they are in season each time I need to go grocery shopping.
I always get asked what I plan to do with them. I'm sure my grin is from ear to ear when I tell them I'm gonna to bake with them. They always looked shocked and quite puzzled. Oh if they only knew what wondrous things can be made with them. I also puree them for the freezer for later use.
If you've never roasted a pumpkin before, I invite you to join me in my kitchen for a few tips. The process is quite easy and I find it a joy. You will want to make sure to scoop out those seeds for roasting as well. They are a great snack and the seeds are fabulous to use in all kinds of baked goods for added fun and crunchiness. But first, we are going to make my favorite holiday bread. This bread is great for toast and especially good for sandwich making when you begin to have those leftover ham and turkeys during the holiday season.