It’s Pumpkin Season (even in Finland)!

Pumpkin Gratin / Casserole

As long promised, this is going to be a recipe post. Once again it’s one of my favourite recipes. It’s made even more special with the fact that the main ingredient (pumpkin) is only available for a short time of the year. Last year I didn’t have ANY! :(

While there were pumpkins in the supermarket, they seemed to me to be decorative, rather than edible. I was convinced they don’t exist here (I’m rather prejudiced about this country’s agricultural produce. Prejudice is never good, but it’s like Christmas every time I get proven wrong!) So when I saw this big and rather less than stellar looking pumpkin (ergo it cannot be decorative, and therefore HAS to be edible), I immediately had to buy it! Poor PB had to suffer the consequences and carry it home. ;)

Then I let it sit in my kitchen for a week, drawing out the anticipation for this dish. Also: My Mamma makes it with bacon, so I had to think what to replace that with. But then I just forged ahead and made it with smoked tofu (I tend to use this to achieve that smoked flavour that I love about bacon. Tofu or smoked paprika). It was as delicious as the original and PB and I kinda fought over the last bits (Me: “I’d like some leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.” PB: “Why do you always get to eat the leftovers? I want some too!” So we settled for PB having lunch at home the next day and we shared).

But where’s the freaking recipe?! Give it to me already! I imagine you yelling at the screen, grabbing it ferociously (I have a weird and lively imagination). So without much more ado, there you go:

Pumkin Gratin (from my Mamma)
(Should theoretically serve 4, but we usually eat all of this in 3)

Ingredients
1Tbsp butter or oil
100g smoked tofu, cut in small cubes
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1kg pumpkin, skinned and cut into big cubes
1Tbsp white wine vinegar
3dl vegetable broth

1Tbsp butter
2Tbsp flour
1.5dl cooking liquid
1 cup (around 180g-200g) créme fraîche
dill (the recipe asks for fresh, but I used dried), to taste
salt and ground nutmeg, to taste
1Tbsp Parmesan

Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Prepare an ovenproof casserole dish.

Sauté the tofu, onions and garlic in the butter for about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, vinegar and broth and let simmer for 10-20 minutes (depending on the type of pumpkin and the size of the cubes) until pumpkin is just soft.

Add the pumpkin to the casserole, keeping the cooking liquid apart.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and roast (is that the right word?) for about 1 minute. Add the cooking liquid and let the butter/flour mixture dissolve completely. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients, except Parmesan, stir well, and pour over the pumpkin in the casserole.

Now sprinkle the Parmesan over the whole thing and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.

I usually eat it with bread or all by itself, but I think rice or potatoes might also fit.

P.S: I had an “accident”, publishing this post too early. Sorry if you receive this twice, or if you received this as a one sentence update…

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10 thoughts on “It’s Pumpkin Season (even in Finland)!

  1. Mmm… kurpitsaa!
    A couple of years ago it was impossible to find pumpkins here. Now they even have butternuts at least in Ekolo and the biggest markets. I looove them (and miss the huge selection of local pumpkins in Zürich…)

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  2. Ooh, sounds yummy!
    I was surprised but very happy to find butternut squash at my local super market (also living in Finland!) and made the yummiest soup just yesterday. :))
    Do you think this recipe could be made with butternuts? I haven’t seen any proper pumpkins other than the decorative kind near where I live…

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    • Good for you! Here, the pumpkins have already disappeared (except the decorative ones with Halloween stickers on them). I’m so glad I snatched this one!
      I think it would work fine with butternut squash, though I have never eaten one. The main flavour of the dish comes from the pumpkin, so if you like the taste of butternut, you will probably like it. :)

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