Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cooking Punkin'

Probably everybody already knows how to cook pumpkin in preparation for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but it's new to me, so I'll blog it.  I saw these pumpkins at Brookshires, had a moment of feeling all domestic and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be great to make pumpkin pies from real pumpkins instead of from a can?"  So, I bought them and let them sit in the breezeway for weeks while they accused me of being a fraud every time I walked by them...which was several times a day.

Pffft.  Who wants to go to all the trouble of cooking a pumpkin when you can buy perfectly good pumpkin in a can?  What was I thinking?  But, I bought them, so I must use them and today was the day.

I sat down and googled "cooking pumpkin".  Amazingly, or not, many sites already tell us how to cook pumpkins, so nobody really needs me to tell them how.  I do, however, have a couple of recommendations at the end.  These sites also tell us that, "Once you go fresh, you'll never go back to canned". 

So, here we go...goin' fresh.

I cut the pumpkins in half and scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff.

Reserved the seeds for roasting later.  Yum.

I found instructions for boiling, steaming, or roasting.  I didn't know which was better, but I thought that if I boiled them, the pumpkins would soak up water resulting in runny pumpkin mash.  So I decided on steaming one and roasting the other.

To roast, just cover with foil and pop into a 375 degree oven for about an hour and half or until soft.  I didn't put mine on a pan, but would recommend it because it did drip some juice onto the oven floor.

I left the pumpkin in the oven until it cooled off, then took it out and scooped the pulp out of the skin.  I mashed the pulp with a potato masher.

To steam the other pumpkin, I cut it into slices, then peeled it.  I used my steamer basket in my large stock pot, tossed all the pieces in there and let it steam for about an hour.  When it cooled, I mashed it with a potato masher.

NOTE:  When peeling the pumpkin, I thought the skin was very thick, so I peeled away quite a bit, maybe an eighth of an inch or so.  But after scooping the pulp out of the roasted pumpkin, I discovered that the skin is not nearly as thick as I thought.  So, when peeling the pumpkin, peeling it as if peeling a potato should be sufficient.

I put all the pumpkin into containers, labeled them and put them in the freezer.

What I learned:  Roasting is way easier.  It was a pain in the neck and took a long time to slice and peel the pumpkin as compared to simply popping it into the oven and the result was the same.

Next up...canning jalapenos.

1 comment:

April said...

Hmmm..sounds kinda easy. Let me know how the roasting of the seeds go. I could never get mine to dry all the way and so they never got that crunchy feel even after I roasted them. But I buttered and salted them and they were yummy. I'd be interested in how long you roasted your seeds.