We added the pumpkin glazed doughnut to the lineup at Curiosity Doughnuts several weeks ago. We topped it with our signature, possibly too familiar, topping of pretzels and white chocolate. The doughnut is sweet, salty, savory, rich, and decadent. But something about using our doughnut shop crutch left me feeling unsettled. As I stewed on the idea, it finally hit me. Why not use salted pumpkin seeds as the savory seasoning to punctuate the pumpkin doughnut? It's what we all would call a no-brainer. And yet it still took weeks to get there.
We roasted the pumpkin seeds in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes until they were lightly browned. We cooled the seeds and combined them with 3 parts white chocolate and 0.75% salt. We put the mixture into the food processor and pulverized the mixture into a coarse crumb. The result was a toasty, nutty, pumpkin seed crumble with a decadent sweetness and forward saltiness. Now this is the right topping for our pumpkin doughnut. It is also an amazing catalyst for thought: pumpkin seed shortbread, pumpkin seed praline, pumpkin seed gremolata, pumpkin seed mole to braise and glaze pumpkin and pork. It takes time, stewing and some not quite right directions to get to where we need to go.