Baking with Fresh Pumpkin Article - Allrecipes.com
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Baking with Fresh Pumpkin

Big pumpkins, small pumpkins, white pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins: what's best for baking?




Smaller is Better

Choose sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties. Small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, they're perfect for pies, soups, muffins and breads.

A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.

Field pumpkins, which are bred for perfect jack-o'-lanterns, tend to be too large and stringy for baking.


    Choose Your Method

    There are three ways to transform an uncooked pumpkin into the puree used in baking:

    Baking Method

    • Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast.
    • In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil.
    • Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender.
    • Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.
    • For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve.


    Boiling Method

    • Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides.
    • Peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks.
    • Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
    • Bring to a boil and cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender.
    • Let the chunks cool, and then puree the flesh in a food processor or mash it with a potato masher or food mill.


    Microwave Method

    • Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides.
    • Microwave on high power for seven minutes per pound, turning pieces every few minutes to promote even cooking. Process as above.
    • You can refrigerate your fresh pumpkin puree for up to three days, or store it in the freezer up to six months, so you can enjoy fall pumpkins for months to come.






    Comments
    Oct. 12, 2009 5:10 pm
    I love baking pies with sugar pumpkins,they are wonderful You can follow all the same recipes as with canned pumpkin and these fresh pumpkins are well worth the effort.
     
    Oct. 13, 2009 12:24 pm
    1. I cook with "field" pumpkins all the time. It's a great way to use uncarved halloween pumpkins (assuming the squirrels don't get them first). I make about 80 mini-loaves of pumpkin breads for annual Christmas gifts with my halloween pumpkins, and they always get rave reviews. 2.Drain your frozen puree so that it's the same consistency as canned puree.. If you do decide to freeze your pumpkin puree be sure to thaw it over a cheesecloth or a really thick bundle of paper towels (I usually place the cloth in a pasta strainer and then sit it in the sink) for at least a couple of hours. You may need to bundle all the puree up inside in the cloth and then wring the cloth out to really remove all the water and get the puree back to its original consistency.
     
    Oct. 14, 2009 4:24 am
    I love using the sugar pumpkins for pies. It makes the best pumpkin pies I have ever had. Takes a bit of time but so worth it...
     
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:14 am
    I find that sometimes home made pumpkin puree is more watery that canned. When this is the case, I place my puree in a fine strainer and let the excess moisture drain out.
     
    lduran79 
    Oct. 14, 2009 5:38 am
    I made a pie with fresh pumpkin and it did not taste the same as pie with canned pumpkin. I know I did not grow sugar pumpkins in my garden. Can I add sugar or something to my fresh pumpkin so the pie will taste right? When I made pumpkin bars with fresh pumpkin, everything turned out fine.
     
    Lyyle 
    Oct. 14, 2009 6:56 am
    An even better way to cook the pumpkin for a pie is to cut the pumpkin in half like two bowls and bake them with cream, spices and sugar in them. This makes a nice moist, mellow mixture once the flesh is scooped out that only needs eggs to be turned into pie (and you don't have to use yucky canned milk products!)
     
    Doc Tikva 
    Oct. 14, 2009 9:37 am
    Those Big Pumpkins we get where I live are not stringy at all!! And they are dark in color too!! I use them for pie, soups, steamed, baked! My fresh pumpkin pie is made with 1 small size sweet potatoe (sometimes I even add a carrot or 2) and only 1 or 2 eggs. The sweet potatoe gives it a sweeter taste, along with the cinnamon and cardamon. Another wonderful addition is to use organic soy milk in place of the egg for those who don't want so many eggs. I put the organic soy milk into the Pumpkin SOups sometimes for a yummie reach flavor,along with onion,cardamon, cinnamon, carrot, sweet potatoe and garlic!!A soup packed with Vit A and super for Flu & COld prevention! Freezes great too! Cooking some in the oven right now!!!
     
    JulieParadise 
    Oct. 18, 2009 11:38 am
    lduran79, your probably need to 'cook down' the pumpkin puree you've made. Let it slowly simmer on the stove until it gets thick enough that the spoon makes a path through it. There is an excellent recipe for Stewed Pumpkin in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ignalls Wilder. It's also reprinted in the Little House Cookbook. The cookbook says the stewed pumpkin should take about FIVE HOURS of cooking to get to the proper consistency. I happen to have a sugar pumpkin in the oven right now, baking is much easier.
     
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:45 pm
    To bake pumpkin, I've always put the whole pumpkin right in a 275 oven for an hour and a half. Then, let cool and pull the stem off(sometimes the skin peels off too)cut in half or quaters and scoop out the seeds/stringy pulp. You're left with pumpkin that you can smooth nicely in the blender for pies, what have you.
     
    Oct. 21, 2009 10:52 am
    When swapping fresh pumpking for a 15oz can...How much pumkin is that?..Im guessing a cup and a half?..I wish i had a scale...can some one help
     
    mimi52 
    Oct. 25, 2009 5:38 am
    @ beethoven1798, I would use a measuring cup with ounces on it. A cup and a half would be 12 ounces.
     
    Oct. 25, 2009 11:22 pm
    is there anything that CAN be done with the stringy insides? the "guts"?
     
    Frannie 
    Oct. 28, 2009 9:43 am
    I want it too be less fat, so I exchange the oil to apple sauce, makes it nice an moist too. Perfect. Cuts fat almost by 75%.
     
    Nancy 
    Oct. 28, 2009 2:20 pm
    Hello any one that Mite know this dose and now how to make min Pumkin pie.do I put less milk in it to make them Let me know
     
    Nov. 1, 2009 10:04 am
    Thank you so much for these instructions. I tried to cook and use fresh pumpkin last year and it didn't turn out too good, but with these instructions, I look forward to trying again. My sister and I always have the holidays together and I do the cooking. She has high restrictions on sodium and potassium, as well as many other things due to kidney failure, and I try to find ways to stay away from additives. I am excited to give fresh pumpkin another try!!!
     
    TREESAP 
    Nov. 4, 2009 12:14 am
    I just cooked all my pumpkin using "steamer bags" After I cut and gutted the pumpkin, I microwaved each batch in large steamer bags for approx 8 mins. Then I scooped the "meat" into a bowl and ran it through a food processor. Even though I bought "sugar pumpkins" most of the meat is a yellowish color. Only one of the pumpkins I bought turned out to be as dark and sweet as I expected. So as I was pureeing each batch in a food processor, I added a couple drops of food coloring. I'm sure cinnamon and brown sugar will help them darken as well.
     
    laura 
    Nov. 4, 2009 3:59 am
    I like using fresh pumpkins since I have them left over from my fall decorations. They usually stay freh in the yard or in the garage when freezing weather hits until right after Christmas. Except for this year I have five of my meduim pumpkins rotting on me. Anyway, I wash the pumpkins that I will cook. Take a huge sharp knife and cut the pumpkin into 4 or 5 inch pieces. I peel each piece and place them in a single layer in a top part of a steamer. I have the kind of steamer that has a base pan for water and two pans on top with holes in the bottom and a lid. ( I may try this without peeling the pumpkin.) Steam for 10 minutes or more depending on the thickness of your pumpkins. You could use any orange colored flesh winter squash, Lakota squash is so very sweet tasting. I use a food processor to make a smooth consistency. If you don't have a food processor, cut pieces across the grain to break up the stings, smash up with a potatoe masher. You can eat this as a vegetable wit
     
    Nov. 5, 2009 3:12 pm
    I used fresh pumpkin 15oz with a box of spice cake mixed and baked muffins and added a recipe I found an Allrecipies for a walnut crust topping. We are diabetics so I substituted brown sugar for Alterna brown sugar. Nobody new the difference. I love the recipies here.
     
    Nov. 5, 2009 3:15 pm
    Fresh pumpkins make the best pumpkin soup too! I use summer squash (crook neck)onions, white pepper and yellow bell peppers - stir in cream or sour cream!
     
    Nov. 6, 2009 8:23 am
    Using the "guts": You can use a fork to separate the seeds from the strings and then roast the seeds (yummy). The strings can be composted or chopped and fed to animals (wild or farm animals).
     
    Nov. 6, 2009 9:12 am
    Thanks for ALL the pumpkin information....I am new to this and hated to just put the pumpkin in my compost...
     
    Nov. 8, 2009 2:54 pm
    We never carve our Field Pumpkins, we live in a condo with an indoor entry, so we just paint ours. Thus I am left with 5 whole pumpkins every year. I always cut them in half and roast them in the oven, then use the puree for all kinds of recipes. My family LOVES pumpkin bread. Even though they are not sugar pumpkins, my recipes always turn out great.
     
    disey59 
    Nov. 10, 2009 6:29 am
    Wow, what great advise and comments. I also had several halloween pumpkins that I cooked down and pureed and froze. I planned to make breads and cookies with them. Then I throw out the cut up skins for the wild animals. We live in the country and we have plenty of little late nite vistors. Thanks so much for all the comments and suggestions.
     
    Leanne 
    Nov. 10, 2009 2:14 pm
    There is nothing wrong with "field" pumpkins! We use them every year and my family LOVES all my pumpkin recipes. The secret is to make sure you get everything pureed enough.
     
    Colorado Mom 
    Nov. 12, 2009 1:07 am
    This year I tried using the Microwave to cook my fresh pumpkin. After trying several different methods, (halved with skin on, pieces with skin on, and then halved and peeled) I finally found that the best method was to peel off the skin then cut the pumpkin into small chunks. I microwaved batches in a serving bowl for about 10-12 mins., stirring every 2 mins. to make sure the pumpkin was evenly cooked. The best part of this method is that the microwave took the excess moisture from the flesh and I ended up with pumpkin as thick as canned, with no further bother. After pureeing the the cooled cooked pumpkin, I used 2 cups for each pie. I followed the Libby's recipe, because that's the pie that my family likes. I have in years past added the flesh of a medium sweet potato for a really rich flavor, but also amended the recipe with an extra egg and a bit more of the spices, and no extra sugar... This makes a deep dish pie that is a little more filling, but oh so satisfying! And
     
    gwen 
    Nov. 13, 2009 2:05 pm
    I have been using fresh pumpkins for about 15 years to make pies,and they always turn out to be delicious.After i scoop out the pulp i put in a strainer and press out as much water as possible so that it won't be too watery.It works.
     
    Nov. 15, 2009 6:54 am
    I can't get sugar pumpkins in UK, I do well to get field pumpkins. I always use the boiling process and never peel them until after boiling as it is so much easier. I put pumpkin in blender and puree it. Then drain, drain, drain..I will leave it for hours or over night in fridge in strainer. I then freeze it. Never have any problems using it in recipes and when thawing out don't lose hardly anything as so well drained. Fresh pumpkin is so much nicer but does have a bit of different taste as nothing added to it!!
     
    Nov. 21, 2009 2:04 pm
    Don't confuse weight for volume. A 15oz can of pumpkin puree is measured by weight NOT by volume.
     
    Marie Smith 
    Nov. 24, 2009 8:21 am
    Instead of pumpkin I use Sweetmeat squash. It taste much better than the canned pumpkin, also use half & half instead of canned milk. I always enjoy baking the sweetmeat and then can it, I can use it like yams. I buy my squash from the store which get them from Oregon since I live BC, being a diabetic so I have to watch the amount of sugar that I put into the pie filling, which is usually half of Splenda and regular sugar.
     
    ToddABearSF 
    Nov. 26, 2009 8:58 pm
    Did you know that butternut squash is actually a cultivar of the pumpkin? In fact, in Australia, they call it "butternut pumpkin." Though the shape and skin color are different from what we typically call pumpkins, the orange flesh of the butternut squash is delectable and makes a fantastic pumpkin pie. It has a very small seed cavity and a much higher percentage of edible flesh compared to field pumpkins. The butternut squash, once peeled and diced, can be steamed and pureed and it's excellent in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree. As to canned pumpkin, Libby's uses a cultivar, the Dickinson Field Pumpkin that is exclusive to Libby's. It's higher in sugar, it's more flavorful, it has a lot more flesh for its size, and it is softer and less stringy, once cooked, than a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin. It has redder skin and flesh, and is smaller and squatter. Their canned pumpkin makes a better pie than any other brand I've used. Sugar pumpkins from the supermarket will do b
     
    ToddABearSF 
    Nov. 26, 2009 9:08 pm
    A 15-ounce can of pumpkin has almost exactly two cups of pumpkin puree in it. It's a close enough equivalent for pie making. Don't confuse fluid ounces which measure volume (8 fl.oz.=1 cup) with avoirdupois ounces which measure weight (16 oz.av.=1 pound). There's an old adage of "a pint's a pound the whole world round," but that simply isn't true at all. 16 fl.oz. of water actually weighs 17-1/8 oz.av. And other substances, such as pumpkin puree, aren't the same density as water.
     
    Dec. 2, 2009 1:31 pm
    I prefer to bake the pumkin rather than boil. Last time I did boil, the puree came out too watery.
     
    JanisW 
    Mar. 21, 2010 3:47 pm
    Boiling seems like a poor choice nutritionally, especially if the water is discarded. I prefer to use a slow cooker, which doesn't require my presence and attention the way using the oven does. I also use both butternut squash and sugar pumpkins from my garden - had a bumper crop last year! First, I wash and peel the squash/pumpkin, not that difficult with a good swivel peeler, then I cut and clean out as described above. I chop the result into pieces, but them in the slow cooker and add about 1/4 cup of water just to keep it from sticking. Cook on low for 8 hours or so, then puree with an immersion blender. Refrigerate overnight, then drain off the excess water, which can be saved to use in a soup. Delicious!
     
    May 13, 2010 7:15 pm
    Like Erica, I also cook with field pumpkins regularly. I have never had a problem with the puree being stringy; in fact, the result is far better than any canned pumpkin. Since it is very watery, I cook it down before freezing it, so that I don't need to strain it before or after freezing. You can even get double duty out of Halloween pumpkins, if you are willing to scrape out part of the pulp to use for cooking BEFORE you make it into a Jack-o-Lantern. You can take about half of the pulp out without making the pumpkin too thin to decorate for Halloween. Just be careful not to make any thin spots where the light may show through. My Halloween pumpkins keep the family in pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup all year.
     
    Adi 
    Aug. 17, 2010 10:32 pm
    after baking i spread sweet condense milk on the pumpkin filling...its delicious
     
    Pamela 
    Aug. 22, 2010 7:55 am
    I have learned so much from everyone. I'm brand new to gardening this year and haven't tried growing pumpkins yet. All of your great suggestions have really inspired me to 'go forth & conquer' and work with fresh pumpkins instead of canned. Thank you very much, so many fun ideas to try.
     
    bob 
    Sep. 4, 2010 9:56 am
    Any winter squash will do; the better the quality of the squash, the better the pie will be. Canned pumpkin is actually Hubbard squash by the way. :) A buttercup or kabocha will give really good results, and they don't have so much water to get rid of.
     
    Robin 
    Sep. 5, 2010 5:14 pm
    I am looking for a savory pumpkin recipe. I had a dish in Europe that I am trying to find the recipe for. Basically a piece of pumpkin was cut to resemble a filet - about an inch thick. It was crusted with a pecan mixture and grilled. Does anyone have a recipe similar to this?
     
    Sep. 17, 2010 12:42 pm
    I always bake my pumpkins - including large field pumpkins for pies, soups etc. The key is to puree the pumpkin to get rid of any strings then to drain the fluid out using cheese cloth or a mesh strainer until only a thick paste remains. I also use a mesh strainer to sieve the pumpkin through, any strings will be left behind, a chinois is much better (China cap available at resturant supply stores) work the best though. It's alot more work than opening a can but it's well worth the effort, and trust me people notice the difference.
     
    cjbaer 
    Oct. 2, 2010 12:36 pm
    My mom and I discoveed by accident how to make the best pumpkin from home grown pumpkin. Wash the outside of your pumpkin first. We quartered our pumpkin,seeded them, left the stem attached, and pressure cooked several at a time, how ever many will fit into your cooker. Process on high heat, for 4 minutes. Don't forget to add about 2 cups of water to the pumkin in the pressure cooker. When you can remove the pumkin from the cooker the stem will come right off. That's a good indicator that your pumpkin is done. Then process up as much as your food processor will hold. Skin and all. It looks like Libby,Libby and better yet, tastes like it as well. The color is bright orange. I hope you will like this as much as we do.
     
    SweetNCrazy 
    Oct. 5, 2010 5:09 am
    ok I got blessed with pumpkins this year. Its my first year canning. I have a family of 4 and we like to make pumpkin year round but its not there. My question is can you can pumpkin puree?
     
    Oct. 9, 2010 3:09 pm
    Dear SweetnCrazy. There is a website called PumpkinPatchesandMore.org. This will help you with canning pumpkin. You will have to can cubed pumpkin instead of the puree. Hope this helps.
     
    Oct. 11, 2010 10:11 pm
    This was indeed helpful! I just got a pumpkin fresh from the patch and cannot wait to use it for it's deliciousness. :] Thank you!
     
    nora 
    Oct. 13, 2010 3:04 pm
    we live in oh. an on the news there were saying that this yr. there will be a pumpkin shortage at the store for canned pumpkin.so i buy alot of the pie pumpkins and freeze my pumpkin raw.that way i have fresh pumpkin all year round.lots of work but worth it .
     
    Marty 
    Oct. 17, 2010 5:27 am
    Many have commented on the pumpkin being too watery. What I do is drain the liquid over a sieve but instead of discarding it, use it like you would to make pumpkin jelly. Add pumpkin spice, as you would for pie, and jelly just like using fruit juice. Add sugar according to directions or taste and you will be in for a real treat.
     
    dlb444 
    Oct. 17, 2010 11:44 am
    I've read that you have to hull the pumpkin seeds....Do I have to??? And how would you do that? I've roasted them before, but they are really tough to chew...
     
    Dan the Baker 
    Oct. 22, 2010 6:20 am
    Great suggestions here!
     
    Oct. 22, 2010 7:31 pm
    I have used my blender to puree the pulp then put it in jars and canned it. Keeps for at least 2 years if it lasts that long. Tastes great.
     
    jesterjen17 
    Oct. 24, 2010 3:36 pm
    Thank you for the comments about field pumpkins... I am brand new to "cooking from scratch" and had no idea that there were different kinds of pumpkins! I was told that I shouldn't use the field pumpkins for puree but I'm going to give it a shot :)
     
    donnaf 
    Oct. 25, 2010 10:06 am
    dlb444, I have made pumpkin seeds for many years and never hull them. I just rinse them, coat in olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and bake till barely brown. Also, I do not know why anyone would go through the hassle of peeling and boiling a pumpkin. The baked method is so easy and I've never had puree that's too watery. Plus it smells delicious as it's baking.
     
    Oct. 28, 2010 3:37 pm
    Do not can pumpkin at home. Check with any reputable university home extension site that provides home canning guidelines. Pumpkin is not high enough in acid to safely can at home. Much safer to freeze it
     
    tina 
    Oct. 30, 2010 1:23 pm
    I made fresh pumpkin puree last night. i added a little sugar and pumpkin spice to mine and it turned out great. I am excited about making pies and bread and cookies with it. i have one more pumpkin i am going use for this . i am truely excited. thanks for all the tips on here. i just cut mine up in cubes and boil them on the stove. it works out great then i peel it. makes it much easier for me. i am always trying something new and fresh. being dietbetic i am always willing to try new recipes with fresh ingredence .
     
    angelpark58 
    Nov. 1, 2010 1:56 pm
    Could someone tell me what a sugar pumpkin is. I always use milk pumpkins.
     
    Nov. 1, 2010 8:47 pm
    I too use field pumpkins. One great way to use is to scoop the guts and bake whole. Fill with a homemade cream squash soup and serve. It is the centerpiece of any table and the flesh is wondful this way. I like it better than the sweets.
     
    Nov. 2, 2010 7:56 am
    Thank you everybody so much for your help!
     
    kitkat 
    Nov. 3, 2010 2:53 pm
    Wow so much good advice where to start. Thanks so much everyone.
     
    NMB 
    Nov. 5, 2010 5:21 pm
    We just bought some different sugar pumpkins (winter Squash). We are going to do taste, texture comparisons and are going to save the seeds for planting whichever ones we like in our garden. We got a butternut (time tested home gardener favorite). The butternut is the first to be cooked and is cooking as I write this. We got a mini blue hubbard (an heirloom type that the full size version is too big for most family meals). A Blue Delight which I had never heard of. Last but not least is the Fairy Tale which originated in France. Should be fun.
     
    Stef 
    Nov. 7, 2010 3:24 am
    this is a first year for me using fresh pumpkin.....ive been experimenting with pies and i have found that using almond milk instead of evap milk and reducing sugar produces an even lighter version of pumpkin pie....practically calorie-less...so light and tasty....can eat all i want with no guilt; gonna try coconut milk also...so refreshing too
     
    Stef 
    Nov. 7, 2010 3:26 am
    p.s. ive also found that draining the puree thoroughly matters greatly
     
    Barb 
    Nov. 7, 2010 5:35 pm
    Used idahosandy's recipe for baking at 275F for 1 and 1/2 hours and it made it easy. Also it was easier to remove the "guts" I had to drain it some so I lined my strainers with coffee filters and they worked very m well
     
    Eutona 
    Nov. 8, 2010 10:54 am
    This is my first year trying to make my own pumpkin pie... ever! God-willing I'll get it right :)
     
    Nov. 11, 2010 10:14 pm
    I steam my fresh pumpkin, it takes about 10 minutes and the puree does not take on too much water this way.
     
    amy 
    Nov. 14, 2010 9:57 am
    This recipe I found calls for a 3 pound pumpkin. I am to hollow out the pumpkin and fill it with bacon, sausage, spices, bread cut-up(i will use baked sour dough) and cream, etc. Put on baking sheet and bake. Can anyone recommend the best pumpkin to use for this recipe??
     
    amy 
    Nov. 14, 2010 10:05 am
    one website recommends the cinderella cooking pumpkin....???
     
    Nov. 21, 2010 11:36 am
    I have tried all techniques, but boiling the pumpkin is the worst. the pumpkin seems to have less flavor. I use all kinds of pumpkin, with worry. As with other reviewers, I puree the cooked flesh, and drain in cheesecloth overnight. I even give the pumpkin a few good twists in the cheesecloth to drain even more before I use them, it really gives it a drier consistency similar to canned puree. Fresh pumpkin butter rolled up into my pumpkin pecan caramel rolls are the best treat on Thanksgiving day morning, with a mug of pumpkin caramel latte!
     
    Nov. 21, 2010 2:49 pm
    Oops. I meant without worry.
     
    Terri Sue 
    Nov. 26, 2010 9:25 am
    you most certainly can can pumpkin. you do need a pressure canner though. water bath canners think fruit, tomatoes, and pickles. anything else you want to can will have to be canned in a pressure canner. they are expensive but well worth the price if you want to can other things. it's how i put up my pumpkins as our freezer is tiny and i use pumpkin year round as my husband likes it so much,
     
    ndm726 
    Dec. 5, 2010 1:48 pm
    We use the pureed pumpkin as baby food-my daughter loves it. It's also good when mixed into vanilla pudding, with allspice added.
     
    GreenLass1968 
    Dec. 7, 2010 6:21 am
    I was thrilled to find this information. I'm now living in Mexico City, Mexico and they don't sell canned pumpkin down here. They do sell several varieties of 'field pumpkin' just before Halloween. I managed to buy one before they were sold out. It was a variety I haven't seen before (large and whitish, and more flat - like some of the 'mini decorative gourds' instead of round.) It looked like it would be stringy, but it has a nice, smooth consistency after baking & pureeing it. If you have problems with stringy puree even after running it through a blender/food processor, I would suggest mashing it through a sieve and discarding any strings.
     
    albert.jody 
    Jun. 21, 2011 3:13 pm
    save to recipes box
     
    Sep. 13, 2011 10:46 pm
    Thank you, I will leave this comment to be able to refer back to this page. I lost my direction for baking a pumpkin and this will help. Last year it was easier to find whole pumpkins than it was to find canned pumpkin puree with the shortage. I look forward to doing this again this year!
     
    Sandra 
    Sep. 27, 2011 10:54 am
    Making pumpkin puree sounds simple, but how do you remove the hard outer shell or do you? Also, I have forgotten how to eat pumpkin seeds. Do you eat the shell that has been salted or like sunflower seeds? Embarassed.
     
    MP 
    Oct. 2, 2011 2:01 pm
    Sandra...I have pureed my pumpkin by cutting it in small pieces and boiling it. I put small slices of the skin in a separate pot and boiled it until 'very' soft. I also pureed the skin and added to the meat of the pumpkin. It darkened the meat and I'm thinking it will not make any difference to the texture or taste of the product.
     
    grammadeb 
    Oct. 2, 2011 4:21 pm
    I baked my field pumpkin, as canned pumpkin is not in our local grocery stores yet, and may not be until much later. This was my first time cooking fresh, and I was surprised to see the consistency! It was stringier than I expected, but oh so delicious! I baked it with fresh cinnamon and virgin organic unprocessed coconut oil sprinkled on to keep it moist. (Also wrapped both halves in aluminum foil) I will now bag and freeze the extra 3 qts. of cooked pumpkin left, and use it in baking recipes. Thank you all for some fantastic ideas. Happy holidays!
     
    Emma 
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:00 am
    Hi Lyyle How much cream, spices and sugar do you use in the "pumpkin bowls" while baking them?
     
    galtscrapper 
    Oct. 18, 2011 7:22 pm
    We've baked and boiled our pumpkins in the past using "field" pumpkins, though last year they were NOT as good as the year before. Baking definitely tastes better to me than boiling them. My husband makes the BEST pumpkin pancakes with fresh pumpkin, and I find I can't go back to canned, it's just NOT the same! This year we got a Cinderella pumpkin and a Fairy Tale pumpkin from Trader Joes, both of which I am really looking forward to trying.
     
    Oct. 22, 2011 9:31 am
    My fave by far is using a butternut squash! I cut in half, scoop out the seeds and then roast it cut side down in the oven at 400 for about an hour. Yum!
     
    lynda 
    Nov. 5, 2011 4:57 pm
    can anyone give me the best pumpkin cookie recipe.
     
    cindy123 
    Nov. 8, 2011 4:47 am
    lynda- try the iced pumpkin cookies (by gina) on this site.
     
    Laura 
    Nov. 13, 2011 12:30 pm
    I just washed, poked “steam holes” around the stems, and baked two whole pie pumpkins in the oven at 350 for 1 ½ hours. Waited until they were cool enough to handle, scooped the seeds and stringy stuff into a dish to separate the seeds, and scooped the pumpkin mash from the rind into a colander to drain the extra liquid. I used a potato masher to mix the two pumpkin’s different color tones. Easy Peasy!
     
    jnnfrparker 
    Nov. 14, 2011 5:12 pm
    I am new to this whole thing also, I baked my pumpkins and they turned out great! Instead of freezing the pumpkin, I attempted to can it. I was afraid I did it incorrectly so I put the jars in the fridge and plan on using them for Thanksgiving, does anyone have any advice to share?
     
    cindy89 
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:28 pm
    does anyone know where i can get a pumpkin
     
    rkg 
    Nov. 19, 2011 2:15 pm
    my son and daughter-in-law can't tolerate animal milk. We use silken tofu and beat it with some organic soy milk (Kikkoman is best)until the tofu is creamy and then use in same proportion as milk. The person who says she ended up with a grayish skinned squash, it was probably a sweet-meat. They are sweeter than pumpkin and you can usually decrease the amount of sugar your pie recipe calls for. I Wouldn't use sweetened condensed milk with a sweetmeat squash. Taste the squash after cooking/pureeing and adjust sugar accordingly. If it is a sweetmeat try the silken tofu/soymilk or use evaporated milk. Good luck and enjoy. Fresh baked sweetpotato is also great. I decrease the nutmeg to 1/8 tsp and add 1/2 tsp cloves and increase the ginger to 1-2 tsp. My family enjoys a spicier pie than most recipes call for.
     
    jnnfrparker 
    Nov. 20, 2011 8:07 pm
    I just used my pumkin puree which I jarred instead of froze. It came out beautifully and I didn't have to drained any liquid! I added a steamed sweet potatoe (so I didn't loose nutrients or color) and the pie baked so perfect! I am GF so I used a GF recipe and pie crust and it was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be using this method again and again.
     
    piepey10 
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:39 pm
    I have just completed my first attempt at making pumpkin puree. I seems to be fine but it taste a lot like butternut squash to me. Is this the way it should taste? When i use it for my pie do I do anything different? I am so scared that my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie will not be good. Need some help please!!
     
    Nov. 25, 2011 2:23 am
    I cook up a lot of pumpkins as I sell baked goods at our local Farmer's Market and two of my best selling items are Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Rolls. I was surprised that this article didn't mention that you really do need to drain the Pumpkin before you use it. I usually roast my pumpkin and then run it through the food processor till mush and then strain it for at least 12 hours. I don't discard the juice that comes out, instead use it for recipes. We've made soup with it that was quite tasty. I never bother with Sugar Pie Pumpkins. Much too small for my purposes. I generally buy large heirloom Pumpkins like New England Cheese. I also mix my Pumpkin with certain types of squash. Buttercup squash is best for flavor. Admittedly, I have access to more varieties than most people since I am at Farmer's Market every week, but it is worth your trouble to try other Pumpkins than those little tiny sugar pie pumpkins.
     
    Sn-Dlouwho 
    Nov. 28, 2011 12:37 pm
    I use either of the pumpkins for baking. Whatever I get my hands on. I prefer to use a steam juicer, and steam cook my pumpkins. It takes most of the water out of the pumpkin. By doing so, I have no puddles on my pies. I cut up the pumpkins into wedges, and place them into the steam juicer. They turn a dark color, insert a knife to check for doneness. Take out and put them in a large bowl to cool. The skin just peels off like a blanched tomato. Then I mash it up with a potato masher. What I don't use at that time. I measure the pureed pumpkin for different recipes, put into freezer ziplock bags, and write on the bags what it's for (cookies, bars, breads). Then you pull out and thaw as you go along baking for Christmas. When I pull it out of the freezer, I cut the bag open and put the frozen pumpkin into a bowl to thaw. Then you don't deal with trying to get pureed pumpkin out of a plastic bag. I went on a pumpkin baking binge years back. I cooked it in so many different wa
     
    Annette 
    Jan. 3, 2012 3:14 pm
    I cook my fresh pumpkin -both field and pie varieties- in a pressure cooker. Just cut in chunks or just smash it on the driveway. Rinse it off and cook according to the pressure cooker's manufacturer's directions for squash. Cool the cooked pumpkin in a colander over a large bowl so excess water can drain. Scrape the pulp off the skin - no need to puree- if cooked long enough it will be mushy- and use as desired.
     
    aliecat 
    Sep. 13, 2012 12:51 pm
    i wondered how or what made pumpkin for the pies!!!
     
    nosher 
    Sep. 29, 2012 7:43 am
    i have found that pumpkins are a little watery sometimes. i bake them whole in the microwave so it's not introduced liquids. i strain the pulp through cheesecloth and the pulp becomes more dense, like canned pumpkin, but much better!
     
    Fantod 
    Oct. 13, 2012 10:51 am
    Use (lots of) fresh ginger in your fresh pumpkin pies. It will wow your guests!
     
    Gwen 
    Oct. 28, 2012 10:42 am
    Just a note to the boiling method: I cut them into chunks before attempting to peel. It's much easier than wrestling a half a pumpkin.
     
    Oct. 28, 2012 12:13 pm
    Thank you for all the comments and suggestions! This is my first attempt at fresh pumpkin...hope it goes well!I remember the best Empanadita's my late Mother In Law made with fresh pumpkin, they were unforgetable! I hope to be able to share these with my kids and Grandkids!
     
    jeff mills 
    Aug. 16, 2013 8:50 pm
    I sowed 30 hills thinned to 3 vines per hill of small sugar pumpkins in with our early sweet corn patch. As you can already guess - I'm now swimming in pumpkins. Thankfully they don't all mature at the same time or I would really be in trouble. I'm trying to determine the best way to preserve pumpkin - from what I've read freezing the "meat cubes" would be best? Any advise would be greatly appreciated
     
    sweett4rt 
    Oct. 10, 2013 2:18 pm
    Wow with all those pumpkins you can puree your baked pumpkin, spread it out on the nonstick drying sheets in your dehydrator evenly to about 1/8 inch thick. Dry it then grind it in your spice grinder to a fine powder (I recommend you sift out the bigger pieces and regrind them). Several small pumpkins can go into a quart jar like that. Just take out 1/4 cup of the pie powder, place in a small bowl and pour about 3/4 to 1 cup of boiling water on it and within 15 minutes you have pureed pumpkin which is enough for 1 pumpkin pie or anything else you want to make and it tastes like fresh and if you have a food saver you can keep the jar of pumpkin powder sealed and reseal it after use. Takes up very little space and it will last years sealed.
     
    Oct. 15, 2013 3:56 am
    The baking method worked very well! I made a butter pie crust and threw together 2 cups of pumpkin, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 eggs and a dash of salt. My husband said it was the best pumpkin pie he's ever had!
     
    Lissa 
    Nov. 2, 2013 10:26 am
    Sweet pumpkins were 25¢ each. I remember my mom and mother-in-law made incredible pies from Jack-o-lanterns. So I thought I would give it a try. idahosandy's baking the pumpkin whole method is perfect. My puree is complete. Now to try some pumpkin recipes.
     
    slk133 
    Nov. 3, 2013 5:37 pm
    lots of good advice!
     
    Nov. 16, 2013 2:12 pm
    Just tried the most wonderful suggestion on how to remove the stringy part from the seeds (!). Throw them in your KA mixer - use the whisk attachment - and mix on medium for 20-30 seconds. Worked wonderfully!
     
     
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