Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baking Pumpkin

Last night I decided to bake another pumpkin. The pumpkins I grew are the same as Libby's uses for their filling. They are called Dickinson Select. My daughter's inlaws grow pumpkins for Libby's in Illinois, but I saved the seed I have from a pumpkin I received at the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) last year. Ended up with 15 large pumpkins.

I gave away about half of them & have been baking & freezing the rest. These are not your average, everyday carving pumpkins. They have the thickest pulp. And big seeds.So, how do you bake a pumpkin? First cut off the top then slice down the sides into pieces. Scrape the stringy part & seeds off of the pulp. I use a grapefruit spoon to make it easier.
Place the chunks face down on a baking sheet & place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about an hour & a half (depends on the thickness of the pulp).

When done baking, flip the slices over to cool. Then take a spoon and scrape the pulp off off the skin. This is how much pulp is from that one pumpkin. This is two baking sheets worth.
Yes, that is almost 9 pounds of pumpkin pulp from one pumpkin! I do have a lot of pies to bake this year (eight all together) but there will still be a lot left. And what about all the other pumpkins we have? Here's what I do. I measure out either 2 or 4 cups into a freezer bag & flatten. You can store a lot of these bags this way. They are easy to thaw for your recipes for soup, cookies, pies, cakes, breads or whatever else you can think of to do with pumpkin. With pie being my favorite, soup is a close second. Just add pumpkin pie spice and milk (I use oat or hemp milk) and blend for a minute then heat.
Don't forget about the seeds. Rinse off most of the goo, toss with a little olive oil and sea salt, bake at 325 for 20 minutes & you have a great snack. The only things wasted are the skin (and the stem).

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