How to Process Your Pumpkin
It’s almost that time of year! Fall is arriving and squash and pumpkins will be available in large quantities! I usually let my kids decorate (without carving) a couple of pie pumpkins with non-toxic materials, then after Halloween I take all the stuff off and process them. Here’s how! It’s basically the same as doing up any of your favorite squash – butternut, buttercup, acorn, etc. A pie pumpkin is recommended as the big ‘ole jack-o-lanterns are stringy and not as sweet. Wash outside thoroughly, remove the stem and cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop all the seeds out (and dump in the compost pile if you want to try and grow next year’s batch), and place cut side down in a pan that has sides. Fill the pan with 1/2 inch of water. Bake 350 for an hour or till you can easily stick a fork through the skin. Let them cool a little, then flip over and scoop out the pulp into a bowl. I mash mine with a fork but if you want a perfect puree you can put it in a food processor. Then use in your favorite recipes! Mine is pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but I don’t know if I’m ready to share that secret just yet :). Hint: you can substitute butternut squash for any pumpkin recipes and no one will know the difference. Also, the puree freezes fantastic – I measure out 1 or 2 cups for recipes into tupperwares and freeze. After I thaw I drain off any water before baking. One medium small pie pumpkin will give you about 2-3 cups of puree. Mmmmm, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cake, oh yeah, and pumpkin pie. I CAN’T WAIT!