With only one goal – getting out of my third grocery store in two days the week of Christmas – I suddenly gained the confidence of an experienced shopper. Rather than looking lost while consulting lists and signs, I shoved through the crowd standing in front of the holiday ingredient shelves, reached to the bottom shelf, and pulled out a can of pure pumpkin puree. All without looking. Ta-da!
Maybe I still didn’t have all the ingredients for Christmas Breakfast, Christmas Dinner and Christmas Presents, but this can put me another step closer.
At home, I grabbed a nibble of sustenance and started working on turning this 24 ounce can of puree into Maple Pumpkin Butter. While grabbing for the can opener I read the label: pumpkin pie mix. Quickly I consulted the recipe, maybe, just maybe this was right and my list was wrong. Possible, right? Nope, very emphatically that recipe stated no pumpkin pie mix.
I put my shoes back on and headed out to one more grocery store. As punishment that can of detested pie mix was banished to the very back of the pantry shelf next to the bag of dried split peas my roommate bought when aiming for lentils.
Now that the can was only a year and a half away from expiration (Yea for canned goods!) something needed to be done with it, just to stop it staring at me every time I reached for the jar of nuts kindly blocking it. I considered trying to return it since I had kept the receipt, but thought maybe 11 months out was a little long.
Searching the web for recipes returned pie, pie, and pie. But, see I don’t care for pumpkin pie. I thought about turning it into one anyway and foisting it off on co-workers, but couldn’t bring myself to serve something I wouldn’t eat.
Reading through several pastry pumpkin recipes all calling for only pure pumpkin puree I found all also included sugar and spices. Surely I could use my can instead and leave out all that other stuff! Here is the result. Ta-da! I will admit that they don’t have a strong pumpkin taste, however it is still different from the typical cinnamon roll and very moist. Plus, there is an unmistakable orange color.
I usually make cinnamon rolls in a pan so that they pull apart. Wanting to make a prettier version for a potluck I baked them on a sheet. However the prettiest version is baked in muffin tins — as pictured.
Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls
1 c pumpkin pie puree
4 c flour
2 ¼ tsp or 1 package yeast
⅓ c milk
¼ c butter
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp orange zest
4 Tbs butter, softened
1 c sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
¾ c chopped pecans
¾ c dark raisins or dried cranberries
½ c orange marmalade
Combine 2 c flour and yeast in large bowl. In small saucepan over low heat combine milk, butter and salt until about 110°. Pour into flour mixture and mix with wooden spoon. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and orange zest. Mix well so that eggs are beaten, mixture is well-combined and fairly smooth.
Add in remaining 2 c flour about ½ c at a time, until a dough forms that isn’t too sticky to handle and forms together away from the edge of the bowl. I used the entire 2 c, but it may not always be necessary.
Transfer to floured surface and knead until smooth and springy. Place back in oiled bowl or leave on floured surface. Cover loosely with towel or plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour, until doubled.
In small bowl combine butter, sugar and cinnamon for filling. In separate small bowl toss together raisins and pecans. Set aside.
Butter two baking sheets or one 9×13″ rectangular baking pan.
Deflate dough. Divide in half and return to floured surface. Roll out one half of dough into large rectangle (about 9×13). Sprinkle over half of sugar-cinnamon filling, then half of raisin-pecan filling. Press into dough slightly, just so it won’t all fall away while rolling it up. Starting at a short end roll dough into log. Cut into 12 rounds. Repeat with second half of dough.
Place slices in buttered muffin tins, on baking sheets, or squished together in a single baking pan. Cover loosely and let rise about 30 min.
Turn oven to 375°F. Bake about 15 – 25 minutes depending on the thickness of rounds and pan.
In small saucepan heat marmalade just so that it becomes more liquid and so easier to spread.
When the rolls have become brown and are almost ready. Spoon the marmalade over them. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes until rolls are completely ready.
Remove from oven. Eat.
One very important note about these is that they are best straight out of the oven. If you wanted to serve them for breakfast, let them rise over night in the fridge. This could be done for the first rise and then put them together as directed. Probably this could also be done for the second rise. Then simply bake in the morning. For leftovers, warm in microwave or toaster over for a few seconds or minutes.
Also, a last note: A constant cheerleader for the underdog I like that this is another use for pumpkin pie mix. However, if using canned or homemade pumpkin puree you probably want to add in about ¼ c brown sugar and several teaspoons of different spices. Maybe ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.