Monday, September 16, 2013

Step By Step Tutorial For Processing Pumpkins

Nothing compares to the fresh taste of homegrown pumpkins. I sometimes wonder how many people have ever eaten a pie made with real pumpkins?

It's really not hard at all to anyone who has never done it before. It's actually quite fun, especially if you include the kids in the process.

First Things First, Scrub Up Your Pumpkin
Scrub up your pumpkin in the sink with a mild soap and water and then cut out the lid or stem, much like you would if you were going to carve a silly face in one. 

Pop the top out and set it aside in a bowl.

I like to take a good survey of the inside of my pumpkin. I'm looking for a nice thick wall and not to many strings.

Next, Scoop Out The Seeds
Don't forget all the extra stuff goes to the chickens for a special treat. They might even lay an extra egg or two. If you don't have livestock, please give it back to the earth. 

Scoop out the seeds and put them in a colander to rinse later. The seeds are wonderful for roasting and make a very nutritious snack. My grandson REALLY loves them!!
Cut Your Pumpkin Into Wedges

After the seeds are all out, cut your pumpkin into wedges.

Place them on a baking sheet face down. Be sure to line your pan with foil. This will protect your cookware and keep it from having hard baked on food and make clean up a breeze. 

Turn the oven on 375 and put it in. Mine are taking about 50 minutes to bake. The time will depend on the size of your pumpkin and how thick the wall of fruit is. 

Just test it by sticking in a fork to see if it has become tender.
Cool The Pumpkin And Scoop It Out
Once your pumpkin has cooled all the way, simply take a spoon and scoop out the fruit from the skin. If your pumpkin is tender the fruit scoops out very easily.

I usually put the fruit in an airtight container in the refrigerator over night before I puree it. That way it allows any extra liquid from the fruit to drain to the bottom and you don't end up with soupy pumpkin.
Puree The Pumpkin In The Blender

Now you can puree it in a blender or food processor. Even a hand mixer will work great.

I put up two cups of pumpkin per ziplock freezer bag. The reason for that is because most recipes, especially pie calls for two cups.

The first time I put up pumpkin I filled the bags to the top. When I took one out to thaw I found I had way more than I needed.

Be sure after putting your puree in the bag to run your hands down the bag to push out any extra air before you seal it.

If you flatten out the puree in the bag after it is sealed they store much nicer in the freezer. You can simply stack them on top of each other.

Happy Gardening From The Great Pumpkin Patch!!

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