Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mystery Lovers Kitchen Presents PUMPKIN!

Welcome to our very first Iron Chef Week! Each day this week, we're cooking up a dish using our secret ingredient, which is . . . pumpkin!

NOAA Photo

If you entered our Iron Chef contest, stay tuned and check back. One of you has won a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. The winner will be announced soon, along with the next mystery ingredient . . .

In the meantime, I'd like to give a special shout out to those of you who suggested secret ingredients, especially Grace for suggesting cardamom, a wonderful spice which I think is vastly underused and it's certainly the time of year for it, and to Wendy for suggesting smoked paprika, one of my favorites!

And now (drum roll here) --


This is actually a simple recipe. The only difficulty is timing if you wish to serve it hot, but I actually prefer it cold. It's not as pretty when it's cold, but oh -- does it taste good. I started with a simple pumpkin souffle, which came out fine (you'll notice some optional ingredients) but it lacked spunk. In fact, it tasted remarkably like pumpkin pie without the pastry. So I went back to the drawing board and added a few items to spark it up. It bursts with flavor, and is best served with the bourbon cream. In fact, you may find yourself looking around the kitchen for other excuses to eat the bourbon cream!

4 tablespoons sugar
4 egg whites
1 29-ounce (large) can pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup apple butter (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped fine (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 mixing bowls
1 souffle dish

1. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375.

3. Butter the souffle dish and dust with 2 tablespoons of sugar (like you would flour a cake pan).

4. In the other mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, apple butter, cinnamon,
ginger, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, orange liquor, and crystallized ginger. Mix thoroughly.

5. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar. When they begin to hold a shape, add the remaining two tablespoons of sugar, and beat until stiff and glossy but not dry.

6. No matter how hurried and tempted you might be, do NOT mix the contents of the two bowls with an electric mixer. Spoon about 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and stir gently to lighten. Add the remaining egg whites and combine gently.

7. Pour into the prepared souffle dish and bake 40-45 minutes.


1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Beat the whipping cream until it begins to take shape. Add the brown sugar and bourbon slowly. Beat until thoroughly combined. Serve with Pumpkin Souffle´!


~ Krista

If you have a hankering for a Thanksgiving mystery to put you in the mood for the holidays, the first Domestic Diva Mystery, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, is full of seasonal tips -- and a Thanksgiving dinner with a murderer at the table . . .


  1. A perfect dish for the holiday season. Looks delicious.

  2. Krista - Oh, oh, oh! This is right up my alley. I cannot wait to try this one. (Can I use orange zest instead of the liqueur, do you think?)

    Everyone - I can highly recommend Krista's Domestic Diva mysteries. This is a wonderful series with fantastic recipes, too!! Start with the first, The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, which was honored with a nomination for the prestigious Agatha Award. Then move on to The Diva Takes the Cake and be sure to pre-order The Diva Paints the Town (like I did!) It's coming out February 2, 2010.

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. I'm with Cleo. Read Krista's Diva Mysteries. They're so much fun! Sophie is a winning protagonist! And she bakes like Krista, go figure. Krista, love this recipe. Can't wait to try it.

  4. Thanks, Mason!

    Cleo, I think orange zest would work well. It's a surprisingly forgiving recipe. And aren't you wonderful to say such lovely things about my books! Thank you!

    Avery, thanks to you, too. So much praise in one day!

    If you don't feel like making the souffle´ but you'll be serving pumpkin pie or even pecan pie, try the bourbon cream. It's a no-brainer and so good!

  5. Krista,

    You had me at pumpkin souffle, but the bourbon
    cream finished me off! I must have this...NOW!
    Fabulous recipe. Thanks for sharing it!