The big Kürbis Ausstellung or pumpkin festival at Juckerhof in Seegräben (Zürich) takes place every year from August to mid-November. But did you know that Jucker Farm actually has 4 yards of gorgeous pumpkin displays, stores with fresh farm produce, orchards to pluck your own fruit, a little petting zoo, among other things? Chetana Parameswar, who visited the farm’s newest outlet at Römerhof in Kloten, tells us more about her day trip and shares her recipe cards for making pumpkin ice-cream and pumpkin chocolate chip bread.
Since we moved to Switzerland, one of my special memories associated with the fall season has been that of a visit to a pumpkin farm. It was our very first time there and all the beautiful displays created with such an amazing variety of pumpkins and gourds was definitely captivating. The other thing that fascinated me was how one could creatively utilize the humble orange gourd to cook up such a versatile assortment of dishes.
The German ‘Kürbis’ comes from the Latin word ‘Cucurbita’. Whereas the British ‘pumpion’, the French ‘pompon’ and the American pumpkin are derived from the Greek word ‘Pepon’, which means large melon.
Scientifically, a fruit, while commonly viewed as a vegetable, the pumpkin is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains several vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin A and C), is low in calories, high in fiber and contains antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, among many others. Not to forget the pumpkin seeds, which are a rich source of vegetarian / vegan protein, unsaturated fats and make for a delicious snack while packing in a nutritional punch.
Butternut, Spaghetti, Pleasure Dome, Turban, Patty pan, Kabocha, Carnival, Yellow crookneck and not to miss the popular favourite, the Halloween are just a few of about 45 different varieties of pumpkins and squashes. Their looks are as different as their names and each has a different purpose to serve. Some are perfect for soup, some for pie, some for bread, some to make pumpkin spice latte with and yet others are better left intact to decorate your garden. The hues in the skin colours are so amazingly different and go from a light apricot, a bright persimmon to a fiery red. And yet others are a slate blue or a ghostly white.
Juckerfarm at Römerhof , Kloten
Quite a few folk in Zürich know about the big Kürbis Ausstellung or pumpkin exhibition at Juckerhof in Seegräben. The other 3 outlets are Bächlihof in Jona, Spargelhof in Rafz and the latest Römerhof in Kloten, which we most recently visited.
Their Römerhof outlet makes for a lovely afternoon outing with the family to see their beautiful sunflower patch, buy something from their fresh produce shop, pluck some gorgeous blooms for a bouquet to carry back home, watch flights take off in the background (given its proximity to Zürich airport), get yourselves clicked in the backdrop of the large attractive pumpkin and squash displays (the theme this year being Switzerland) and definitely eat ice cream made from their fresh farm fruit. The link to the farm and this outlet is https://www.juckerfarm.ch/hoferlebnis/roemerhof/
The inspiration to try making pumpkin ice cream at home came after a visit to this farm and sampling their delicious ice cream. To make this one needs:
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1.5 cups of pumpkin purée
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/8 tsp clove powder
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
There are very few instructions to follow in order to prepare this ice cream.
Just combine all the ingredients except the pumpkin puree and stir together until the sugar dissolves.
Later, add in the pumpkin puree and stir until combined.
Fill into a freezer-proof container until it’s 2/3rds full and freeze for about 4-6 hours before serving. Enjoy it on a warm sunny autumn afternoon!
Pumpkin chocolate chip bread
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (scoop and level),
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour,
- 1/2 cup almond flour,
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or any other nuts of your choice)
- Alternately, one can skip the nuts and add more chocolate chips or keep the bread plain too.
- For a vegan version, use an egg substitute and dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Keep all the ingredients ready. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Prepare your loaf pan by greasing with a little butter and dusting with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt together until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together only until combined. Do not overmix.
- Gently fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes in the middle rack of the oven. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It may take 10-15 minutes longer or a bit less time, depending on your oven.
- If you’re making these into muffins instead of a loaf, then bake for about 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- Allow the bread to cool completely in the loaf pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.