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Pumpkin Pecan and Polenta Balls

pumpkin pecan polenta balls

These are good.  Really good.  Better than they look.  They have the sweetness of pumpkin with a moist cake-y polenta centre.  They’re good hot but specially good cold, which makes them ideal for lunches or for nibbles.  They’re super fast and easy to put together, and these days we have the wood stove going so a hot oven just going to waste unless I find something to put in it.

Pumpkins are my glut crop at the moment.  They’re not exactly a glut – my brush turkeys take care of that – but when you cut just one pumpkin, it becomes a glut.  There’s never enough room in the fridge so it’s a race to use all of it before it goes off.

The Recipe:

This is a bit of a make it up as you go recipe.  The quantities aren’t very exact, because it depends on what kind of pumpkin you are using, and how much of it.

  • You need an oiled baking tray of pumpkin, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Over the top of the pumpkin, scatter a couple of good handfuls of pecans.  I can’t see why it wouldn’t work just as well with any other kind of nut, but pecans is what I usually have in glut at the same time as pumpkins, so I’ve always used pecans. 
  • Scatter a diced onion and a couple of cloves of roughly chopped garlic over too.  

Bake until the pumpkin is soft. In a medium-hot oven, this will only take 15 minutes or so.

Tip the lot into a food processor. Add

  • an egg,
  • a good pinch of salt,
  • and a couple of big dessertspoons of polenta.

 Pulse the mix.  You are aiming to chop rather than puree it, aiming for a texture like a stiffish cake mix. If your pumpkin is very dry, you will use less polenta, if it is moist you will use more.  

pumpkin pecan polenta balls mix

Mix polenta and sesame seeds 50-50 on a plate.

Drop dessertspoons full of the mixture onto the plate and roll them in in the polenta sesame mix to coat.  Make into nice balls a bit smaller than a golf ball, about two-bite size.  Place them on an oiled baking tray.

Bake for around 40 minutes in a medium oven, till lightly browned.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Tanya June 1, 2013, 7:56 pm

    These sound like just the thing for the shearer’s lunch box. Great recipe and perfect this time of year

  • Karen June 10, 2013, 9:47 am

    When you say polenta, do you mean the dry kind (what we would call coarse cornmeal here in the United States), or already cooked?

    Thanks – sounds delicious!

  • Linda June 13, 2013, 1:46 pm

    The dry kind – the kind you would call cornmeal I think. The kind we get here in Australia, that we call polenta, cooks in a matter of minutes. I use it mostly for recipes like this: http://witcheskitchen.com.au/green-flecked-polenta-with-roast-capsicum-and-tomato/.

  • Karen June 14, 2013, 12:25 pm

    Thank you!

  • Lauren June 14, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Could you use canned pumpkin? We don’t get good pumpkin here in Alaska, but these look super good!

  • Linda June 14, 2013, 3:41 pm

    Hi Lauren, I bake the pumpkin, rather than steam or boil it, so as to get it a bit drier. I’ve never used canned pumpkin, so I’m not sure how much moisture is in it. I think so long as the texture is like the picture, it should come out. The risk will be that you have to add too much polenta to make it dry enough, and then they will be blander than they are with lots of pumpkin and not too much polenta.

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