Fall is definitely the season for everything pumpkin! Try making pumpkin recipes at home with fresh pumpkins using these tips (or use canned pumpkin puree!):
Selection & Preparation
The best type of pumpkin for cooking is a “pie pumpkin” or “sweet pumpkin.” These are smaller than carving pumpkins and the flesh is sweeter and less watery. Figure one pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin for each cup finished pumpkin puree.
Cooking the Pumpkin
- Boiling/Steaming Method: Cut the pumpkin into rather large chunks. Rinse in cold water. Place pieces in a large pot with about a cup of water. The water does not need to cover the pumpkin pieces. Cover the pot and boil for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender, or steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness by poking with a fork. Drain the cooked pumpkin in a colander. Reserve the liquid to use as a base for soup. Follow the steps outlined below in Preparing the Puree.
- Oven Method: Cut pumpkin in half, scraping away stringy mass and seeds. Rinse under cold water. Place pumpkin, cut side down on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for one hour or until fork tender. Then follow the procedure outlined below in Preparing the Puree.
- Microwave Method: Cut pumpkin in half, place cut side down on a microwave safe plate or tray. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, check for doneness. If necessary continue cooking at 1-2 minute intervals until fork tender. Continue as outlined below in Preparing the Puree.
Preparing the Puree
When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove the peel using a small sharp knife and your fingers. Put the peeled pumpkin in a food processor and puree or use a food mill, ricer, strainer or potato masher to form a puree. Pumpkin puree freezes well. To freeze, measure cooled puree into one cup portions, place in ridged freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace or pack into zip closure bags. Label, date and freeze at 0°F for up to one year.
NOTE: NEVER can pumpkin puree at home.
Information from SNAP Ed Connection