The crisp fall air and changing leaves mean its harvest time! The flavors of fall are arguably some of the best of the year. Family trips to apple orchards and pumpkin patches are memories that will last a lifetime. Next time you head to the pumpkin patch for carving pumpkins, pick up some pumpkins you bake with.
The best pumpkin to bake with is a sugar pie pumpkin. They are small and dark; their sweetness is perfect for food. You don’t want to attempt baking with a carving pumpkin. Stick to just baking the seeds in those.
In order to get pumpkin for baking, you need to get the sugar pie pumpkin into a pureed state. There are several ways to do this. A few methods from All Recipes are:
Baking: Bake the pumpkin like you would any other fall produce, (for example: squash). Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and stem. Place the halves face down in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for an hour and a half. Cool the pumpkin and scoop out the inside and puree or mash it until smooth. If you want it really smooth, press the puree through a mesh sieve before using it.
Boiling: This method is similar to cooking mashed potatoes. Just like the baking method, you will need to cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy substance. Next, peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks. Place the chunks in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender. Cool and puree.
If you love your slow cooker or want to set be able to “set it and forget it,” follow these instructions for cooking your pumpkin in a slow cooker.
*Remember to clean your pumpkin before you start. Just like any other fruit or vegetable, there are things on the outside you don’t want spreading around your kitchen or getting into your food. You can store unused pumpkins like a potato; in a cool dry place.
Now that you know how to prepare a pumpkin for baking check out the list of pumpkin baked goods!