Between specialty coffee, candles, beer and a slew of faux pumpkin-flavored items, we’ve hit peak pumpkin saturation as a society. Some complain and others jest, but I just bake.
Over the past few years I’ve made pumpkin brownies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin breads and pumpkin cookies. Phew. Needless to say, I felt like I was out of options, but all it took was a reconfiguration of inspiration. What did most pumpkin recipes I’d come across or concocted have in common? They were sweet, so I sought to make something savory.
Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I always keep a reserve of some kind of animal fat in my refrigerator (ok, maybe it’s just me). Lately, it’s been duck fat courtesy of Hudson Valley Duck Farm. I use it in place of oil or butter in a lot of things because it’s amazing. Couple that with some cheddar from Tonjes Family Dairy, throw in a flaky biscuit recipe and top with pumpkin butter to ward off all the naysayers. Forget the pumpkin haters — this is the real deal.
Cheddar biscuits with pumpkin butter
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 ½ tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup heavy cream
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Take cold, cubed butter from the fridge and mix by hands or a pastry cutter until the consistency resembles small pebbles. Pour cream and stir until barely incorporated (having a little flour at the bottom of the bowl is ok). Dump contents of bowl onto the table, add the cheese and finish kneading by hand. Chill dough for 1-12 hours.
Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut into 2×2 squares or use a round cutter for shape. Place on a greased sheet pan or parchment and brush with duck fat (alternatively, egg wash if making these veggie friendly). Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove and brush again with duck fat.
1 cup fresh pumpkin, cubed
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander
¼ tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Let simmer on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Place heaping spoonfuls on the warm biscuits. Keep remainder refrigerated.