It’s officially here. All of the wonders of fall and the month of October are upon us, and I don’t know anyone who isn’t happy about it. This marks the start of our most comforting memories. Sure, most people wait the whole year for summer and all of its bounty, but there’s no denying the sentimental feelings you get when you see the trees turning or use your fireplace for the first time. Many of us are still busy harvesting and preserving, which is exciting enough. This season also brings cozy sweaters out of the closet, warm meals and more nights in. Of course, I can’t go on without mentioning that fall brings us the ever so popular pumpkin-flavored everything.
As a former pastry chef turned homemaker and avid home baker, for me fall is arguably the most glorified season. Although December holidays put up a good fight, the smells and tastes of October and November are my favorites. Americans especially have grown to adore pumpkin-flavored treats and other cozy tastes and spices of this season. Take a look online for a moment or a peek into any American restaurant or coffee shop menu, and you’re sure to see pumpkin this and pumpkin that. With the amount of work I do researching food online, I sometimes wonder if people try to incorporate pumpkin into everything.
For those of you with pumpkins growing in your backyard garden or farm, bravo and happy preserving to you! Fresh puréed pumpkin does in fact make a world of difference in recipes. If you aren’t so lucky, store-bought pumpkins are fine and canned pumpkin-puree will do, just as long as there are no questionable added ingredients.
As I mentioned, I am a former pastry chef. It’s probably true that I’ve made hundreds of different items into a pumpkin version. At the beginning of this season, I was lacking inspiration. I needed something new. Rather, something old-fashioned but new to me. Wild game chili sparked my idea for this pumpkin cornbread. It can be served buttered with warm maple syrup, or with chili or other stews. It’s extremely simple and just as versatile. You can use this recipe all season long and into the holidays!
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, optional
Preheat your oven to 400 F and grease an 8-by-8 glass baking dish or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with coconut oil.
In a medium sized bowl, mix the rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cornmeal, and flaxseed meal with a fork until well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, honey or maple, and molasses with a whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture with a spatula and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan or skillet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with butter or butter and maple syrup. Excellent with wild game chili.