Last week, after making Indian Pudding and Sops of Pompion for the Mass Bay masses….I found I had rather a lot of sops of pompion left.
There are some things that can be re-heated and be just fine…but OTHER things need to be re-imagined to turn into something else altogether to eat.
Let’s start with the sops……..
Here’s the 17th century recipe for the sops…..
To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.
Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.
– 1675. Robert May, The Accomplist Cook,
I cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes, and dropped it into a pot of boiling, salted water. When it was tender I drained it.
Just like macaroni.
I toasted sliced Thirded Bread from Plimoth Plantation’s Plimoth Bread Company. For the Boston event I carried both elements separately and finished the sops when I got there to Boston:
Put ample butter in a frying pan, add the cubed, boiled squash and saute until heated, golden and just starting to get a little not quite mushy, but most definitely soft. Spread the pumpkin and butter on the toasted bread – I cut each slice into halves or thirds to make it easy to eat as an appetizer.. Sprinkle the tops with fresh ground pepper. Easy. Serve. Great with beer.Or with soup. Once you have it, you’ll figure out how it fits into your life.
And then the leftovers ( a late 19th century term) …..otherwise known as the relics or the orts……to PrestoChangeo into
- Take your pumpkin sops and eyeball them. You should roughly equal amounts of bread and pumpkin. There were some pears that were a few minutes past peak, so they got cut up and added to the mix. With a whole grain bread you’ll need to add a little more moisture. If you have an enriched type bread, not so much to worry.You can break the pieces up or keep them very large to be broken up in the serving.
- The liquid is going to be about equal to the mass of the bread and fruit (technically, pumpkin is a fruit, so is squash) so plan panage accordingly.
Butter the pan very well. Then butter it again even better. As Julia Child has said, “Add more butter”. The butter keeps it from sticking and the butter will help the edges brown and crisp up nicely and just improve everything.
- Mix equal amounts of milk/cream and/or half and half with beaten eggs . We used 6 eggs, but four would be enough for a smaller amount. I’m thinking the ratio is 1:1:1:1 – bread:fruit:eggs:milk. If you have juicy fruit (peaches, say, not the gum) keep that in mind when sloshing in liquids. It’s very forgiving. A little longer in the oven helps dry it out.
- Mix the eggs and milk together with the bread and fruit. Now is the time to think about spicing…..if you don’t know how to pumpkin spice…….
- Or you could go with something different….Ginger, cinnamon and some anise seeds are good. Nutmeg on top another good choice. Or orange peel and fennel seeds…..
- Drizzle honey all across the top. Be generous, like the caramel on a sea salt caramel latte generous.
- This whole thing can sit while the oven heats up…helps every little thing to soak up and get it’s act together, working out the melody and the harmonies so it can stand up and sing when it time to serve it.
- Bake in a 350° oven until heated through and has crispy edges and a knife in the middle comes out dry and not dripping.
- Enjoy hot, warm or cold.
Now if you had Pumpkin Bread….you could also make a different Punkin Bread Pudding again…