November 07, 2011

Baking pumpkins

 The best pumpkin to use for baking in pies and breads is a smaller one.  It will be about the size of a small head...  not the tiny ones. One that is possibly a Sugar Pumpkin if they have them labeled.

 I never really realized the value of those little pumpkin carving kits until I actually picked one up at the dollar store and now I won't go back to the knife.  I love the little "saw".  It is perfect for taking the top off the pumpkin and carving faces and shapes into the pumpkin.  As you can see, it is the little "screwdriver" looking item in the bottom right of the picture above.  I also have a scraper next to it.  All from the dollar store!  

 After I cut the top out I did use my big knife to cut the pumpkin in half.  This makes it easier to scrape it out if you cut it in half first.

 Scrape out all of the goo, strings and seeds.  I pick the seeds out to season and toast and they are quite good and certainly great for you!

 You can brush some oil on the "meat" part or just put them in plain but I turn them with the skin side up so the meat part does not brown too quickly and leave burnt spots.

 I bake them at around 325 for somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 to 2 hours depending on how large it is.  
 Once you have baked it until the meat is soft you scrape it all out of the skin and store it.  I prefer to puree mine and measure it into freezer bags by the cup measure and then label each bag with how much is in it.

The meat is stringy usually but the puree process gives you the texture you want for baking purposes.

Once you are done you should only have the seed strings and skin left.  If anyone has a use for these outside of composting feel free to share.  LOL  I have never determined their usefulness.  ;)

Now, you are ready to bake... Get to it!  You only have 17 days left until Thanksgiving!  :)


  1. LOL - last year, some of my younger friends were whining on Facebook about a shortage of canned pumpkin, so I did exactly what you did, put a tutorial with pictures up on the blog! Only I did mine in the microwave - add a bit of water, flesh side down, cover the dish and nuke for 15 - 20 minutes.

    Fresh pumpkin is so much better tasting in soups and pies; why use canned when this is so easy to do?

  2. I agree with Diane. Using fresh pumpkins is the way to go -- it's a hundred times better than canned pumpkins which are... well, kinda' insubstantial..