Cooking Cove: An inside story on jack-o’-lanterns

Cooking Cove: An inside story on jack-o’-lanterns

Pumpkin-Butterscotch Muffins

By Barbara Beltrami

When the kids were little, we used to carve pumpkins and then use the insides to make all kinds of pumpkin goodies: pumpkin bread, which we froze for Thanksgiving; pumpkin soup and pie and pudding; and cookies and cakes. Each year we would try a new recipe for the jack-o’-lantern’s innards; sometimes it was great like the pumpkin-butterscotch muffins and sometimes it was awful like the pumpkin tapioca. But we always had fun looking up recipes and concocting something new. Here are two of our success stories.

Pumpkin-Butterscotch Muffins

Pumpkin-Butterscotch Muffins

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 muffins


½ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

¾ cup pureed cooked fresh pumpkin, drained

¼ cup water

1¼ cups flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2/3 cup butterscotch morsels


Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a muffin pan or insert paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, oil and eggs. Stir in pumpkin and water. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add the pumpkin mixture and butterscotch morsels; stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crusty on top and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with cream cheese, butter or apple butter and hot coffee, tea or chocolate.

Pumpkin Crumble

Pumpkin Crumble

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 servings


1 stick unsalted butter

4 cups pureed cooked fresh pumpkin, drained 

2 cups light cream or half and half

1½ cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)

1 cup brown sugar, packed

¾ cup flour

½ cup finely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 F. With one tablespoon of the butter, grease the bottom and sides of a 13×9×5-inch baking dish. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and half the salt until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, pecans and remaining half teaspoon salt. Melt remaining butter, add to oat mixture and toss well. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over bottom of prepared dish; sprinkle oat mixture on top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until pumpkin mixture is set but a little wobbly in the middle if dish is moved back and forth and oat mixture is golden and crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and hot apple cider.