I wanted to make something special for the Fall season and what says ‘Fall’ more than pumpkins and/or squash? The colors are a perfect complement to a Halloween or Thanksgiving table setting and you’ll look like you spent hours putting this together. In reality, it really isn’t nearly as difficult or time consuming as it appears. Enjoy!
4 large mini-pumpkins (approx 3-4” diameter)
2 cups fresh pumpkin (or squash) cooked & mashed
3 large eggs
4 teaspoons All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces Jalapeño-Jack cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Remove tops from pumpkins. Remove seeds and flesh, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell. Microwave shells for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, place cooked pumpkin/squash. Separate eggs, stirring yolks into pumpkin flesh and placing whites in separate bowl.
- Mix flour and baking powder into pumpkin mixture.
- Stir cheese into mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper (to taste).
- Whip egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold gently into pumpkin mixture.
- Spoon souffle mixture into pumpkin shells.
- Place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until puffed and set.
The bake time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin shells and how ‘packed’ the filling. If you fill them gently, you will probably have leftover soufflé mixture. This is perfectly fine. Aerating the egg whites will produce volume to the mix. Simply bake any leftover mixture in a small (greased) casserole at the same time as the filled pumpkins. Begin checking for doneness after 20 minutes. Once the filling is set and no longer jiggles, the top is beginning to brown, and the cheese has melted, then they are done.
Although the cheese in this recipe calls for jalapeño-jack, a variety of cheeses would work well. Even though this dish uses pepper cheese, it remains fairly bland. For those who are looking for a spicy dish, I suggest adding additional peppers or a dash or two of hot sauce. For those who don’t want hot peppers, I would suggest cheddar cheese and the additional of spices. Add a teaspoon (or two) of curry and a pinch of nutmeg to the mixture prior to folding in the egg whites. Then proceed as directed.
If you prefer, this recipe may be adapted to use small acorn squash. Cut the acorn squash in half and using both halves as “bowls”. Simply scoop out the seeds, remove (and cook to use!) all but ¼” of the flesh and proceed as directed. For a sweeter twist on this recipe, use a mild cheese like Monterey-Jack, increase flour by 2 tsp and stir in ½ Tbsp melted butter and 1 Tbsp brown sugar.