Since the autumn, I’ve had three big pumpkins decorating the bench in my foyer. I grew them in my garden last summer from seeds that Jo LaRocca collected on one of her food and gardening adventure trips to Mexico. Today I decided to cut one open to make pumpkin soufflé.
I was inspired partly by these springtime snow flurries, but also because I wanted to keep experimenting with bienmesabe as a crust. Recently I tried bienmesabe in a nontraditional way as a bottom layer for flan. The texture combination of creamy dessert with a crust element was reminiscent of cheesecake, but the flavors of flan custard, caramel sauce, and the almond of the bienmesabe gave it an unexpected twist which made it memorable.
The pumpkin rind was incredibly hard. I started out with a serrated knife, but switched to a pruning saw to get the job done. Once opened, the rind revealed bright orange flesh which I roasted, pureed, and used for a soufflé.
(If you like my springform pan–and if you live in the Pittsburgh area–you might be able get one for yourself at the USA Pan semi-annual factory sale. No guarantees–you never know what will be on offer–but it’s a fun time. The sale is coming up on Saturday, April 16: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 33 McGovern Blvd., Crescent PA 15046.)