How to Cook a Pumpkin!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The best part of fall is pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread...  My favorite is Pumpkin Pie.  I love making Pumpkin Pie, but this year just the normal pumpkin from a can routine was not enough for me.  I decided to make my pie from a real pumpkin.  The pumpkin I used was a Cinderella Pumpkin.  I was so excited  about getting my own pumpkin that I had my own little picture shoot with it (Yeah, I know, I'm weird, but the picture above is my favorite from the shoot).

Today I am going to show you how I cooked my pumpkin and made pumpkin puree with it.  I was so surprised at how easy it was.  

First you wash your pumpkin (I almost forgot this step).  I decided to cut my pumpkin in half from the stem down.

I also cut the halves in half because it made it easier to get the seeds out.  I used a spoon and scooped out all the seeds and the stringy pumpkin gunk.  I placed all the pumpkin half's onto a big cooking pan.  I filled the pan with a thin layer of water and covered the pumpkin with tinfoil because I didn't want to burn the edges of my pumpkin. I cooked it in the oven for about two hours at 375 degrees.

I was surprised that my pumpkin had barely any seeds.  The Cinderella Pumpkins are more for cooking so they had a lot of meat to them and not a lot of seeds.  

While the pumpkin was cooking I seasoned the the pumpkin seeds, half with a garlic seasoning and the other half with a BBQ seasoning and olive oil.  

I put them in the oven for about twenty minutes.  I normally don't like pumpkin seeds.  I don't know why.  I kinda think it was more of a mind thing.  But I find that when you make something you don't necessarily know if you like you are more likely to try something new.  I found out that I actually really liked the pumpkin seeds.  We decided that the garlic seasoning was the better flavor.  

Back to my pumpkin.  Once it was soft and a little bit mushy I took it out of the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes.

I scooped all the mushy meat of the pumpkin into a bowl.  It was really stringy. When I was done I was left with just the skin of the pumpkin.

Using a hand blender I blended the pumpkin mush (I'm calling it that cause that's really what it was), until it had a nice smooth texture.

What you now have is basically the same stuff you buy in a can. Fresh homemade pumpkin puree that is ready to be used in all of your pumpkin recipes.  I found that it is a little bit watery compared to the canned puree.  Next time I think I will try to drain some of the liquid out of it before I use it in my recipes.

I used my pumpkin to make pumpkin pie.  I was happily surprised to find as I took my first bite of the pie that the pumpkin flavor was really rich.  

I had a lot of leftover Pumpkin Puree so I froze some in an ice cube tray to use in smoothies and I used the leftover to make homemade Pumpkin Butter.

If you've never had Pumpkin Butter, you have to try it.  It is like fall in a jar.  I could just smell that stuff all day as it cooked in the crockpot.   I followed this really easy recipe I found on pinterest.  A link to the tutorial is below.  My favorite part is that there is no sugar in the recipe.  The main sweetener is honey.

So that was my cooking adventure this past week.  I'm trying to try at least one new recipe every week so I plan on doing many more tutorials.

1 comment :

  1. Mmmmm, I LOVE pumpkin too! I can almost smell it from looking at your pictures!