Cooking a Whole Pumpkin
The first time I cooked my own pumpkin for pumpkin puree. I thought it would be a lot of work. It really isn’t. I love the smell of the pumpkin cooking and you also get to roast some pumpkin seeds. With this recipe you cook the pumpkins whole which is easy and I’m all about doing things easier.
This year I had a volunteer pumpkin plant pop up in my side yard. It grew enormous and produced 15 cooking pumpkins.
I cook two at a time. I use a lot of pumpkin in the winter. It’s a favorite of mine.
Pre heat oven to 350 F. Wash the dirt off pumpkin(s). Place in a large baking dish. I used my lasagna pan, it was just the right size for my 2 pumpkins. Katie is singing a made up pumpkin song to get us in the mood to do some pumpkin baking 😉
Give it several stabs to break the skin. Don’t want that baby exploding in the oven. Some suggest waiting until it’s cooked for about 15 minutes and the skin is not as hard. I don’t wait I just stab away. Watch those fingers!
Place on low rack in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hour or until fork tender.
Remove from the oven and slice in half to cool. Let it cool about 30 minutes.
Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a large metal spoon. You can clean and roast them later if you like.
Remove the skin. It should peel off easily. Use a knife if you need to.
Put a few chunks in the food processor and puree.
I measure it into 2 cup portions to freeze in a freezer bag or a container. That amount works best for me. You can decide what works best for you.
2 pumpkins usually yield about 6 cups. I’m freezing 2 bags and using the other 2 cups to bake something delicious today You can lay them flat on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer so they will stack better when frozen and that means using up less of my precious freezer space.
It seems like a lot of work. I enjoy doing it and love the way my house smells right now. So to me it’s worth the little extra effort it takes. Try it for your pies this Thanksgiving. Then you can brag that it really is a from scratch pie.
(Post updated September 2015). I link to these fabulous parties.
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