Monday, December 20, 2010

Cooked Pumpkin

As per a friends suggestion, I am putting on my blog how to bake a pumpkin so you can use fresh pumpkin in your pies and goodies.  I wasn't very timely for pumpkin pie season though.  The pumpkins I had chosen sat on my table all through November and some of October and clear until almost Christmas.  The reason I finally got around to it was that my Wonderful husband cleaned a lot of the house Saturday while my daughter and I were gone.  I do not know how he got the boys to help him, I never seem able to do this.  The pumpkins were placed on the floor and caught my eye, I now popped them to the top of my to do list.  In fact I think I did not leave the kitchen the rest of the day. 

You can cook your pumpkin by either baking it or steaming.  I have done both and the last few times have steamed it.  The reason I would steam it over the baking method is that I was using a larger pumpkin that didn't fit well on a baking sheet. 

Sugar or pie pumpkins are prefered to use for eating pumpkin but you can use the larger more common jack-o-lantern pumpkins but the flavor is not as nice and they are more stringy and tough.  This time I had my pie pumpkin and also a smaller JOL pumpkin I decided to save for pie and combined the two.

 Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Wash pumpkins and twist or pull the stems off.  Then cut in half top to bottom and scoop out insides.  (remember to save the seeds.)  Place the halves on baking sheet open side down or shell side up.  You can lightly spray the pan to keep it from sticking.   Bake for about 1 hour or more until fork tender.   

You can then move to other put off projects like taking all the food and shelves out of the fridge and deep cleaning it. 

Scrape the insides out and put in processor.  Process until smooth.  Transfer pumpkin to a strainer.  This is important.  Let pulp sit in strainer for a long while.  You need to reduce the water content to use the pumpkin for baked goods.  

My two pumpkins made two strainer fulls and yeilded about 1 1/2 cups liquid each, and I could have left it longer probably for more.  I think I left them about and hour each.  You could use cheese cloth as well. 

After this you can use it or freeze it.  I put aside 1/2 cup for use soon and put the rest in two cups per bag.  When you freeze it, it will release more moisture as it thaws, I recommend thawing it in the strainer as well.   

Enjoy your pumpkin in your favorite way.  I will share mine later. 

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails