Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Pumpkin

A few weeks ago we made our annual trip to a local pumpkin patch. It's an amazing place with lots of activities, plenty of stuff for kids of all ages to climb on, a petting zoo, and loaded with everything you could need for fall cooking. While we were there I grabbed a couple of small baking pumpkins, at the time I had no idea what to make with them but it sounded fun. Once I got home I did a quick search and found plenty of tips on pureeing them as well as what to cook make with it.
Baking the pumpkins is incredibly easy, but will likely take a couple of hours from start to finish. The first thing that needs to be done is to cut out the stem, you can cut around it like your carving a jack-o-lantern or just cut flat under it until you've removed the toughest parts. Next you need to cut the pumpkin in to fourths and remove the seeds. You can rinse and dry the seeds for roasting later, but I've never been a fan of roasted pumpkin seeds so I just tossed them. Place the pumpkin quarters in a 375ºF oven for 1 1/2 hours until the pumpkin is tender, you should be able to pierce it easily with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then just use a spoon to remove the flesh.

To Puree you can use a food processor or a blender, it's easier to work in small batches to keep it from becoming to watered down. I used the food processor and then added a water a tablespoon at a time while running the food processor, this helped to get the right consistency. I then stored the pumpkin puree in the fridge for a week while I used it in some upcoming recipes. Oh and feel free to snack on the roasted pumpkin while your pureeing it, it's absolutely delicious that way.


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