What's better than using fresh pumpkin in your holiday pies?
Making fresh pumpkin for Pumpkin pie is super easy.
Making your own is:
· Cost effective, easy
· You get real pumpkin
(The store cans of pumpkin many times is not pumpkin. It is squash or Dickinson squash.)
· You can roast your own pumpkin seeds
· And it tastes a lot better-fresh!
All you do is buy a pie pumpkin from your local grocery store or you can easily grow them yourself.
The use of pie pumpkins (the small pumpkins) is said to have more flavor to the pumpkin meat than using a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin.
Once you have your pumpkin, wash it off with dish soap. This is to release all the dirt, bacteria, and molds that may be on the skin and stem.
Place your pumpkin on a chopping board. Use a large knife for this. A knife that does not have too thin of a blade. Blades can chip or break when used for hard jobs like this.
I use my butcher size knife. I place my chopping board on a wooden table. I do this to help with the noise- wood against wood is more buffering than wood against counter tops.
I will try to place the middle of my knife into the pumpkins halve. I want two halves when I'm done.
Once my knife is in the pumpkin's skin, I will work it through the whole pumpkin.
Depending on the pumpkin, it may be easy or hard to cut.
Once the pumpkin is halved, I will take a large spoon and scrape out all the inners including the seeds. If anything, you can leave the inners inside, just take out the seeds.
I'll place the seeds in a bowl of water to clean for roasting later.
Now the pumpkins are somewhat cleared inside. I'll take a large cookie sheet and spray it with a spray oil for easy release of the roasted pumpkins.
Place the pumpkin halves down as seen in the photo.
Bake on 400 F oven for roughly 1 hour.
The pumpkin will be tender all the way through when poked with a fork.
Let the pumpkin cool on the cookie sheet.
When cooled, take a pumpkin half off the cookie sheet and use a large spoon to scrape out the pumpkin meat. Place this meat in a food-processer.
Process the pumpkin meat until it is smooth.
At this time, I will weigh out 16 oz portions and freeze them in freezer bags or jars.
You may also use the pumpkin puree fresh without freezing!
I label them with the name, date, and portion size for using throughout the year.
When you want to make pie, just take out a frozen jar/bag and let thaw in refrigerator overnight.
I’ll use pumpkin puree in chili to take away bitter tomato flavor. This also thickens the chili.
The sky is the limit to ideas of using this pumpkin puree.
By Cynthia Bergsbaken November 16, 2021
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