Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cooking and freezing pumpkin

Before the hard frost, I brought in all of my pumpkins. Now, I've started to cook the pumpkin to make a puree that I freeze in two cup packages for various recipes. 

First of all, I wash the outside of the pumpkin. Taking a long sharp knife I then proceed to cut into the pumpkin and if not too large, I slice the pumpkin in half. Take a large spoon and scoop out all of the insides and seeds of the pumpkin into a large bowl, set aside. Next, I take a large roaster and pour about an inch of water into the bottom. Now I cut the pumpkin halves into smaller but good size pieces. The lid goes on next and I pop them into the oven to cook at 350F until soft, about an hour. The roaster is then taken out, the lid removed and the pumpkin allowed to cool enough to handle. Next, with a large spoon, the cooked pumpkin is removed from the skin and placed into a large bowl. Once all scooped out, I take my hand blender and puree the pumpkin. The puree is then measured out into two cups and placed in containers or freezer bags and frozen.

I love pumpkin pie but hate making pie crust. So when I found this Pumpkin Pie Square recipe in Taste of Home Magazine in the '90s, I had to try it. I have not made pumpkin pie with a pie crust ever since. My family loves this square and I serve it often.

Here is the link to the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Square

Don't throw away the seeds, here's the link on how to cook them up! Cooking pumpkin seeds

Since I have so much pumpkin this year, I will also be freezing uncooked peeled pumpkin that has been cut into chunks and frozen to add to soups and stews. Pumpkin is such a versatile and delicious squash!

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