Roast Your Own Pumpkin

Tons of Pumpkin Puree

A little Googling reveals that this is likely a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, sold as "Cinderella Pumpkins" around our place.

A little Googling reveals that this is likely a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, sold as “Cinderella Pumpkins” around our place.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you got it into your head that you wanted to roast a pumpkin. And again, hypothetically, you figured that if you were going to go through the hassle of roasting said pumpkin that you would purchase the largest gourd that would fit into your bike pannier, a big old “Cinderella pumpkin” that weighed about 15 pounds. And furthermore (hypothetically, naturally), you had no earthly clue just how much actual pumpkin puree comes from a 15-pound pumpkin.

I could give you some insights. Hypothetically.

In all honesty, this was a case of me getting completely carried away. In previous years I had roasted a nice, small pumpkin and been disappointed that I didn’t have more meat to show for it. This pumpkin left me with the equivalent of 11 cans of puree.

If you don’t know how to roast a pumpkin, follow these steps.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Scrub the outside of the pumpkin and dry. Cleanliness is important for obvious reasons. Dry pumpkins are easier to handle.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half. When you’re dealing with one that’s roughly the size of Cinderella’s carriage, it’s best to use the biggest, sturdiest, sharpest knife in your drawer.
  4. Scoop out the seeds and stringy innards. Discard, or save for roasting separately.
  5. Put the pumpkin halves face-down on a large baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, and check for doneness by piercing the skin with a fork or sharp knife. When it goes through like butter, you’re done. Mine took 90 minutes, but you might be more sensible and work with a smaller gourd.
  6. Presuming that you still want to have your fingerprints, let that thing cool for at least two hours.
  7. Scoop the flesh from the skin and drain the excess moisture from the flesh. This particular pumpkin was very wet and required a weighted plate over a strainer to drain the excess liquid.
  8. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or blender.
  9. Make many, many, many baked goods immediately, or package the puree into 2-cup baggies for freezing and later use.
"It looks like a big pumpkin smile, Mom!"

“It looks like a big pumpkin smile, Mom!”

This particular pumpkin gave a bright orange, flavorful puree that made excellent pumpkin pie bars and pumpkin chocolate chip bread that are still to come in future posts.

Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes? Share them in the comments.

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2 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    I do, as of Thursday! I hosted the monthly social for the officers’ wives from Raj’s squadron on Thursday night and one of the things I made was these pumpkin snickerdoodles. They taste good, but I love them even more for how incredibly soft they are. I think partly because I made them pretty big. The recipe says 2.5 tablespoon sized dough balls. I didn’t measure, but went bigger than my usual golf ball size cookie approximation.

    I’ve also been having pumpkin overnight oats occasionally. I do 1/2 c oats, 1/2 c apple sauce, 1 T chia seeds, bunch of cinnamon, little nutmeg, splash of vanilla, sometimes some walnuts, and a big spoonful of pumpkin puree. Maybe 1/4 cup? Not too much or it tastes too vegetabley and you end up having to add brown sugar. Plus a bit of water, depending on the consistency of your apple sauce. I haven’t gotten ambitious enough to make my own this year, so I buy Musselman’s Natural, which only requires a splash of water.

  2. Alisa says:

    Pumpkin snickerdoodles. I’m letting that sink in for just a moment before running to the kitchen to make a batch. Wow.

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