Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Puree

With the Holidays fast approaching, I wanted to get a little head-start on "pie time."

These are called sugar pumpkins. They are small and easy to work with. Apparently they are one of the best pumpkins to use for baking. I harvested some French pumpkins and will give them a few more weeks before I see how they look inside.

Step 1: wash your pumpkins.

Step 2: cut the pumpkins into smaller pieces for cleaning and cooking. Keep the seeds for baking and also for planting some of the seeds next spring. To preserve for next spring, wash the seeds and let them dry. Place into paper envelopes and store in a canning jar in a cool dark place.

Step 3: Scrape out all the stringy gook. My chickens didn't like the gook.

Step 4: Cook the pumpkin. You can microwave it, steam it, or bake it. I baked it for an hour in Le Creuset pans with lids on. Put 2 cups of water in the pans. Bake at 350F (200C).

Step 5: After washing the seeds, dry them thoroughly. Spread them on a baking sheet, add 3 T melted butter, garlic to taste, 2 T Worcestershire sauce, salt to taste, stir into the seeds. Bake at 275F until golden brown. (about 15 minutes, check and stir often!)

Step 6: After the pumpkin has baked and is cooked, place into a colander and allow to cool so you can peel it.
Step 7: After peeling, puree it by whatever method you prefer. I used a hand mixer and finished it off in the blender. Place the puree into freezer bags. I measured out 1 1/2 cups per bag, as that is how much Ruth needs for her pies.