Can you smell it?
Fall is in the air!
It is time for sweaters, apple picking, jeans, football, Halloween, and (most importantly) PUMPKINS! #pumpkinallofthethings
This weekend the mini diva and myself hit the grocery store (and grossly over spent…whoops!). It was your regular, every day trip until I saw it…THE PIE PUMPKIN!
THE PIE PUMPKINS WERE OUT!!!
Before you could blink I had gently placed my pumpkin next to the bread and eggs (where it would stay safe from those mean pizza rolls and pop tarts!) and my daughter kept going on about the pumpkin and would we carve it, etc.
When we got my precious home, my littlest man kept going on and on and on about how it was his pumpkin and how he wanted to carry it all over the house. This made me twitchy. After all, it was my pumpkin 😉
Finally, I was able to pry it from him kicking and screaming and set it where none of the midgets could reach so that after the kiddos were safely tucked into their beds I could bake my pumpkin, snuggle with hubby, and watch Doctor Who.
I grabbed my pumpkin and my adult beverage and got to work! First step was to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pretty standard…for everything! I swear, if I am making up a recipe I always start at 350 and adjust from there…might just be me, though.
Next I grabbed the biggest knife in the kitchen and did my best scary movie killer impression.
Then I dug into chopping my pumpkin in half. Some people chop the stem off of their pumpkin first, but I choose to leave it on there. Probably out of laziness.
Now, this trusty knife and I have been together as long as I have been married to my husband. In fact, my Maid of Honor bought it for me. Unfortunately, it met it’s end on this very pumpkin and the handle snapped. *sad face* I went for my next biggest pumpkin and resumed the chopping (after a quick sip ‘o beer!).
Once you have your pumpkin chopped in half you have to scoop out all of the seeds and guts. Usually I make roasted pumpkin seeds while making puree, but my motivation to tear the seeds from the guts was lacking (and Doctor Who was waiting) so I just chucked them.
After the insides are all scooped and clean place both halves down in a glass baking dish. This is a personal preference. I have seen people use deep baking sheets, etc, but I always feel better with my Pyrex. In order to make them fit I put them in opposites. Head to Toe as Elaine (from Seinfeld…am I aging myself with that one?) would say.
Next, add about a 1.4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. This is going to keep your pumpkin nice and moist (sorry if you HATE that word!) by pretty much steaming the flesh.
Once you have the water added and your pumpkins arranged the way you would like, pop that puppy in the oven. Start with 60 minutes, but be prepared to cook it for a total of 90 minutes. This is going to depend on the size and density of your pumpkin.
After 60 I gave mine a poke, but the skin didn’t have much give to it so back in went Jack for another 30 minutes. This time when I took it out the skin would stay where I put it when I poked it.
CAUTION!! Please be careful with this next part!! Your pumpkin halves with be extremely hot when they come out so use pot holders when dealing with your gourd. You are going to want to scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl. This is much easier to go while hot. The flesh is going to come out pretty stringy still and not really looking like canned pumpkin.
This is where your trusty blender or food processor comes in handy. Now you may remember that I broke my food processor a while back, so I pulled out my trusty, old, hand-me-down blender. I really need to invest in some new kitchen appliances one of these days! Maybe Santa will bring me a KitchenAid! I digress…
Scoop some pumpkin into your device and add a splash of water and turn ‘er on! It shouldn’t take long to make your pumpkin flesh look like delicious and gourmet baby food! I promise, this is a good thing! DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR BLENDER! It will not all fit in one go-around…don’t even try. No one wants to clean that mess!
Doesn’t that look divine?! I know that it doesn’t look like your store bought, overly orange can of pumpkin…but there is a reason for that 🙂 Now scoop that golden deliciousness into your container of choice. I tend to always use re-purposed glass jars (this one used to contain pickles!) because I just feel that they keep food fresh longer.
Now this one pumpkin filled two big jars. I am only showing you one because the other one still had a label on it and was not cute. You’re welcome. No get Ye to a store and cook yourself up a pumpkin!!