A couple of weeks ago I bought a "cheese pumpkin" from the Bluebird Organic Farm stand at the East Liberty Market. My daughter was sure it was not a pumpkin because it is not orange on the outside. It is tan. Also, it is not cheese because it was "too dirty." But, on the inside, it is all pumpkin. Today we (above-mentioned daughter and I) turned that hefty autumn vegetable (fruit?) into pumpkin muffins. I have never before cooked with an actual pumpkin (as opposed to a can of pumpkin) so I was pretty pleased with myself. Especially when above-mentioned daughter chomped away at the toasted seeds murmuring "mmm-mmm" (you don't get those with a can of pumpkin!).
First I cut the pumpkin into 1 inch chunks after trying to scrape off/ pull out many of the seeds. I then steamed the chunks for about 20 minutes (until they seemed quite soft). After that, I scraped off the stringy pulp and put the rest (including the skin) into the food mill. I milled out about 2 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin. If I were doing this again, I would try to remove all the pulp before steaming because doing so afterwards was tedious and finger burning with the recently-steamed pieces.
I used a recipe from the book Simply in Season which included many non-local ingredients like white and brown sugar, oil and white flour. (Not to mentioned the spices, but I'm going to continue using those anyway). Above-mentioned daughter gobbled up her muffin right away and her equally picky younger brother ate two! I didn't even have to put chocolate chips in them. What a revelation.
Now, if I can figure out how to make them with honey, whole wheat pastry flour and butter, I will give you the recipe. I haven't found any online, but there is no way to search everything out there. I have also read some guidelines about those subsititions. In general, subsituting honey for sugar, people advise to reduce amount (honey is sweeter than sugar), reduce amount of liquid in the recipe (or can you increase dry goods?), increase baking soda by 1/4 tsp. (to balance honey's acidity), and reduce cooking temperature by 25 degrees. I have found no such rules for switching out butter for oil, or whole wheat flour for white flour. I'll let you know what I find out. I'm sure you are all waiting with baited breath.