Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Alchemy

Along with running errands, today was Pie Making Day.  I had 8 pumpkins still sitting in my garage I had gotten from the farmstand last month.

I have a confession to make.
Up until day, I have NEVER MADE A PUMPKIN PIE from SCRATCH.
My pumpkin puree has always come out of an orange container, yes....but that container wasn't roundish with a was cylindrical and said "Libby's" on it.

At my advanced age, it was about time I made my own pumpkin puree.
So I was off to perform some Pumpkin Magic!

First, we chose our hapless unsuspecting victim.....

*Imagine me stroking it like Gollum and saying, "My Precious, preeeciousss....".*

 Then we performed a vivisection on surgical technique left alot to be desired.
More like Night of the Living Dead than Gray's Anatomy....

Next we used one of our kitchen multi-taskers to gut him.
Pumpkin gutting tool aka ice cream scoop.....Alton would be so proud.....

 This was followed by spraying a sheet pan with oil, plopping the two halves down on said sheet pan(outsides up) and putting it into a preheated 350 degree oven.
Let's take a look at the pumpkin guts while our little orange fellow roasts, shall we?....

You have 4 options with this mess here.
1--Throw it out.  That's easiest but the less desirable choice.
2--Salvage as many seeds as you can, roast them, toss with salt or other seasonings and you have a frugal tasty snack.
3--Take a food processor to this lovely glop 'o pumpkin innards and add it to your dog's dinner bowl.  The seeds and the fiberous nature of pumpkin innards will help clean your doggies innards out and make his bowels happy. (I got this tip from my buddy Alex M over at Living Without Money.)
4--Salvage as many seeds as you can, dry them and then store them away in a dark place until planting time, then attempt to grow from seed your very own pumpkins.

Back to our pumpkin....
When he is done(about 40 min., the flesh should be soft and give way easily when poked or pressed on), take him out and let cool.
After he cools off, we pulled off his skin and cubed the flesh up.

Then we took our Stick Blender to this bowl and blended away until it looked something like this......

Actually, the stick blender didn't render the mash smooth enough so I dumped it, in 3 cup allotments, into my Waring Blender.  Since we roasted and didn't boil the pumpkin it wasn't wet at all, so we needed to add some tap water so we didn't burn out the blender's motor. (About 1 cup of water per 4 cups of mash.)

This 1 pumpkin gave us approx. 7 cups of puree.  Most pie recipes call for between 1 3/4 cups and 2 cups per pie.  We made 2 pies so the leftover puree went into a Ziploc bag and into the freezer.

We added the usual additional ingredients to our puree, poured the mixture into a pie crust and baked it according to the recipe's directions and ........

.....Here is the finished product!
If I don't say so myself, it looks good enough to eat.  ;-)

The teens have been eyeing it for the last 4 hours.
I may have to sleep with one eye open tonight to keep Mr. Pie from falling into their evil clutches before morning.

Pass the Whipped Cream,


1 comment:

  1. I did the same thing, except I used the microwave. After cutting and gutting the pumpkin, I placed the halves, shells down in a pyrex baking dish, added about 1/4 cup water, covered it with plastic wrap and nuked it for 10 minutes. Then scooped out the pulp and mashed it with a fork.

    I think I like the oven method better, but I didn't have time to wait on it. The microwave method works well and the pumpkin is only a little more "wet" when it's done.


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