Monday, December 3, 2012

Cleaning up the Fall Decor: Processing Pumpkins

This week we rounded up the fall decorations in anticipation of getting out the holiday decor.  With a counter top full of pumpkins, I was giddy with anticipation, imagining all the dishes and recipes I would make. To get started, we turned the pumpkins into puree.

To make pumpkin puree, we cut each pumpkin in half, pulled out the seeds and pulp, placed them on a greased sheet, and baked them at 400 degrees for around 45 minutes.  The pumpkins are done when the flesh is soft and easily poked with a fork or knife.

Remove the pumpkins from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin, and mush it up with your spoon. You now have pumpkin puree for use in your cooking and baking.  And don't forget that all those seeds and bits of flesh left on the skins and pulp will be appreciated by any animals or will be great addition to your compost. In fact pumpkin seeds are thought to be a natural de-wormer for many animals including chickens.

Of course

While some of us were happy to eat the pumpkin puree just the way it was, the rest of us have been hard at work putting all that lovely orange goop to good use.  The Pumpkin Bars below were absolutely delicious and came from a recipe over at 1840 Farm, find the recipe here.  We've also made pumpkin lasagna, calzones, pancakes, and we still have a giant bowl waiting in the fridge.  I'm thinking pie, maybe some more cookies, bread, and some soup.  If you're looking for a little pumpkin recipe inspiration try to get your hands on this wonderful Pumpkin Cookbook by DeeDee Stovel, and don't forget to come back and share what you've made.

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  1. I grow a lot of pumpkins every year. Pumpkin seeds are roasted here. Some with seasoning (taco seasoning is hubbys fav.) I cut the pumpkin into peices that fit into my pressure cooker with about a cup of water, put the top on the pressure gauge thingy and pressure them till they are soft. Times on this varies as to the age of the pumpkins. Let the pressure off and check them, if they are not soft check the water and redo it for a few more minutes. CAREFULLY remove the HOT pumpkin to casserole pans and let cool. Then I scrap the pulp into my blender and puree. I make pumpkin butter (recipe on the web) leather, pies cookies breads. The shell goes to the compost pile, and one of our dogs LOVES to eat that.

  2. Thanks for sharing,have you ever dried or roasted the pumkin seeds? I've heard they are good for you. Heard to boil them in salt water first, then roast them in oven. Cute pic of the little one, shes a doll. Sheryl