Monday, November 1, 2010

If anyone asks for me, tell them I've died and gone to pumpkin heaven.

It's official: The pumpkin has now been elevated to divine status. The pumpkin is no longer merely an orange and cheerful squash that is carved into a Jack-O-Lantern or eaten in pies with Cool-Whip. No. No, it's much more than that. It is now ethereal and mystical and magically delicious.

The pumpkin is now ... a beignet. *queue flashing lights and triumphant orchestral tune*

This must not be passed up; you simply have to try it. Whoever thought fried beer was a good idea (It was a Texan, of course) apparently had drunk a few too many before bellying up to the frier. The pumpkin, however, is delicious in any application: baked, pied and now, fried.

Here is the recipe, as passed down by the gods on Mount Pumpkin, no lie. (Ok, fine; I actually borrowed it from this person.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the following:

3 c all-purpose flour
2 T baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 c granulated sugar
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a pinch ginger; sorry, I never measure these spices.

In a small mixing bowl combine the following, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir til combined:

1 c milk
1 egg
1 c pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla

Once all the ingredients are combined, start a pot of vegetable oil on the stove over medium-high heat. I don't have a thermometer for this application, but if you do it should read about 325 degrees. Otherwise, just sprinkle in some flour and if it sizzles immediately, your oil is hot.

Spoon the batter into a large tablespoon and then push it into the oil with a second spoon. Let the beignets fry for about 5 or 6 minutes. Test with the first batch to make sure they have cooked long enough - the centers should be cooked through and not gooey. The oil temperature will fluctuate and this can make the batches come out differently. A few of mine were a little raw in the centers...this is my first time 'deep' frying something, so I guess I'm still a novice.

Dusted in powdered sugar, perfect with my mug of Earl Grey on this Halloween night.

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