Monday, October 31, 2011

What can you make from a pumpkin?

Many, many moons ago, I wanted to be thrifty and make pumpkin puree out of our jack-o-lanterns. I read somewhere that you should cut it into 2 inch pieces, peel it and then steam until soft. It turned out to be such a huge mess and the pumpkin puree turned out really runny. Bleech.

I have now found a much easier way to get great pumpkin puree.

I like re-using our jack-o-lanterns, (we carve ours the day before Halloween so they stay fresh) but I also buy a few just to make into breads, pies and other pumpkin goodies.

There are several varieties of pie pumpkins that I like to grow, but I did not get my garden planted this year so I went with some of our pumpkin patch pickings.

I first cut the pumpkins in half and clean them out, make sure you wash the outside of the pumpkin. Don't you dare throw away the seeds!!!

You don't have to be perfect in cleaning out the innards. Just get the big globs out.
Next place both halves cut side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water.

Bake at 350 for about an hour or until the pumpkin is soft. Really soft. Touch the side and it caves in soft.

Let it cool for a little bit until you can handle the pumpkin and either scrape out the flesh or peel off the skin.

You can use the pumpkin as is, but I like to puree it until smooth. It is a matter of texture more than anything else.
I either use it right away or bag it, label it and put it in the freezer for later use. I can get a little more than 4 cups of puree from one small pumpkin.

Lily Bear apparently doesn't like to wait and has to eat her pumpkin right away!

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