Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For the love of Pumpkins

I heart pumpkins. Maybe because one of my favorite colors is orange? Maybe because they are so fun to grow in the garden? Maybe because it means that fall is right around the corner? Maybe because I love eating things that are made with pumpkin? I cant know.

What I do know is that my pumpkins had been harvested for about 10 days and it was time to process them into yummy, orange goodness.

You start with a freshly bathed pumpkin.

Cut it in half. This can prove to be a challenge, especially if you have a larger variety of pumpkin. Just make sure you have a really sharp knife. That helps a lot.

Scoop out all the seeds and scrape out as much of the stringy pulp as you can.

Place them cut side down onto a baking sheet. I actually coat my baking sheet with a bit of cooking spray so that the pumpkins dont stick to the sheet.

Put them into a 350 degree oven for about one hour. (and I assume no liability if this does not turn out for you unless it is exactly 930 when you do it.)

When you can easily pierce them with a fork then you know they are good to go.

Let them cool until they are easy to handle. Id say about 20 min or so.

Scoop out all the cooked flesh.

At this point, I cover my bowls of pumpkin with a towel and let them set for an hour or so. I find that this helps draw out some of the extra moisture that most squash contain.

Then I place the cooked pumpkin into a colander to drain off the excess liquid.

After that I puree the cooked pumpkin in the food processor until it is smooth.

Most preserving information that you read strongly suggests not to preserve pumpkin by canning it. So, I store all of mine in freezer bags.

This time I processed 6 pie pumpkins and ended up with 24 cups of cooked pumpkin. You can use it for pies, breads, muffins, waffles, cakes....That should last me well until next season....right?

And if cooking and preserving pumpkins isnt for you, well, find a friend that has a lovely flock of amazing chickens and put those pumpkins in a box...then send that box to that friend....she will know what to do with those pumpkins when they arrive. Not that I did that. But its a good idea. Im just sayin.

15 comments: said...

Oh goodness. That stuff sure is orange. Did you roast the seeds too?

WV: bedflize *snicker* said...

PS - I hope posting this blog post is a sign you are feeling better??

Egghead said...

I love pumpkins as well and we usually grow one vine. But this year the farmer hogged the garden and we didn't have room for them. I like to do it for the grandchildren because they love having their own home grown pumpkin with their name carved in it. Happy baking!

Diane said...

I'm gonna make a point of being around when you do all that baking..

Melody said...

Mmmmmm! Just the thought of pumpkin pie is heavenly!

Anonymous said... have 3 good friends with who gets the pumpkins? Cuz..I could sure use some! ;)

Farmer Jen said...

You bake and puree those pie pumpkins the same way I do it. Mine got a late start this year and are still small and green on the pumpkin vine. We have more hot and dry weather predicted for awhile yet, so I hope to get some good orange ones soon. Then I will be processing them just like you are. Your pumpkins are beautiful. Glad you are feeling better.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Nice must be getting close to fall because I'm really diggin' that beautiful orange color.
And that's a lot of pretty pumpkin moosh you've got now. At least you don't have to stand on a stool this time to make it. How many pumpkin pies will that make you?
Um, by the way, do you remember what I said about a farmgirl's nails...? snort.
You're getting to be more and more of a night owl, aren't you? S. blames me, but I think you've always had it in you. :-)

inadvertent farmer said...

I'm in the middle of the exact same thing! I freeze mine too but I wonder why you shouldn't can it??? Kim

Sue M. said...

Oh Marcee, thank you so much for this post!

I have one pumpkin, an 11 pounder, in the spare bedroom--that I picked in the middle of July. LOL, no watermelon or canteloupe then, but I had a dang pumpkin. Go figure. In Arizona, no less.

Pumpkin #2 will be ready to pick in about a week, I think, and #3 is turning orange now.

I wasn't sure exactly how to "process" them... Your detailed instructions, photos, and tips are wonderful! I'm not feeling so intimidated now. :-)

Joyce said...

I don't know why but I never even thought about cooking pumpkin and then freezing it for another time. I like to make pumpkin pie from scratch but if I can cook the pumpkins now it would sure cut out alot of time later in the season when I seem to be baking all the time. Not sure we even have pumpkins here in our farms yet but I will certainly look.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

I had to buy pumpkins today. In fact, I believe you heard my transaction over the phone. :-)
2 pumpkins, $2 dollars. Next year, I'm growing my own!

My wv is "ratsinem". Like rats in 'em. Which really freaks me out because I don't like rats. And the thought of them in anything makes me cringe.

warren said...

They look great! Hard to beat yer own pumpkin! Well done!

frugalmom said...

Penny: Nope, no roasting this time. But I did save some! And I am feeling better, thank you. :)

Egghead: A hoggy farmer, huh? Kids always love pumpkins, dont they?

Diane: You think so???

Melody: I know, right? For some reason I get stuck on the idea that I can only make a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving time....when really, I can make it whenever I want.

Ang: I used them ALL. I did not share any.

Farmer Jen: Thank you! Preserving pumpkins is so simple and I actually enjoy it.

Danni: A nightowl??? Its all your fault. You really just need to change all your clocks to match mine.
I think I could get about 12 pies outta all that pumpkin! Think of all the whipped cream I will need.....
Oh, and about those nails...Im just gonna keep them long till I get to your house. The I will cut them...Youll paint them for me tho first, right? With purple sparkles?
And yes, you did have to buy pumpkins. I was right there with you via the didnt ask me which ones I liked better tho...

IF: HI! Its something about the ph levels of the squash...youre not supposed to can pumpkin butter either....dang it.

Sue: You are so very welcome. Im glad that the post is going to be helpful to you. Make sure you let me know how it all turns out!! You should get quite a bit of cooked pumpkin out of ones the size you have!

Joyce: HI there! Thanks for reading my blog. It really does save time if you do it in advance. It stores so easily and lasts for quite some time....that is if you dont use it all up!!

Sue M. said...

Thank you again! I just wrote down your step by step instructions!

My middle of July pumpkin is going to finally get processed.

I can't wait to make a pie or some bread with it! :-)