January 16, 2014

Savory Pumpkin Appetizer

FYI, pumpkin is not only for pies and savory pumpkin mixes well with football.

This week, I’ll start with the background information since asides can be difficult to the flow of an article. My wife and I have a sort of tradition surrounding pumpkin that many of our friends are aware of (and benefit from): we buy about fifteen pounds worth of pumpkin each fall and make purée for use during the pumpkin-less months (namely, winter). Even before we went vegetarian, we always enjoyed pumpkin in all sorts of things, but the transition to being vegetarian only solidified our love for the squash because of its versatility. If you get nothing else from this paragraph, understand that pumpkin can be used in almost any dish and can be more than just pie filling.

As we enter the football playoff season, I decided to try something new. We were joining some friends for one of the games the weekend before last. Everyone was bringing something to share and there seemed to be an overabundance of desserts on the menu, so we decided to make an appetizer using our favorite ingredient. When looking for savory pumpkin ideas, I came across this recipe, which was for what is basically a pumpkin quiche. As I have stated before, I don’t really follow recipes, so I changed the original based on two factors: I wanted food in appetizer form and I didn’t have every other ingredient, exactly.

In our personal crab rangoon recipe that we make often, we use cupcake tins and wonton wrappers; we thought we could do the same thing here, making what amounts to mini pies. The result was a hit at the party and we would definitely make them again.

Savory Pumpkin Tart with Smoked Cheddar

Yield: 12 Servings, Total time: Approximately 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare wonton wrappers in cupcake trays, lightly greasing the bottom of each cup.

  2. To make filling, sauté onions in butter in small skillet about 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

  3. Combine pumpkin, half and half, eggs, chiles, seasonings and sautéed onion in large bowl, mixing well. Stir in cheese.

  4. Pour filling into prepared wonton wrappers. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wonton is browned at edges and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Experiment and enjoy!


  1. Almost always, when using canned pumpkin, it is the sweetness of pie pumpkin because canned pumpkin is so often used specifically for pumpkin pie. That sweetness is often artificial since only smaller pumpkins contain such sweetness naturally. Larger pumpkin flavors are closer to sweet squash, although the sweetness is much less pronounced and much more subtle, as discussed above. 

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