Years ago, I decided to try my hand at using fresh pumpkin to make my pumpkin pie instead of buying the grocery-store canned pumpkin. So off I went in search of some pumpkins. Now pumpkins that you want to use for baking or eating are a bit different than those used for carving out jack-o-lanterns. So make sure you get the right kind. My first adventure ended up a bit of a disaster since I didn't realize that! Plus I thought you just peeled the pumpkin and cut it up, then boiled it until it cooked soft. Again, not a good idea...pumpkin skin is very tough and will kill your peeling hands!
I have since found an easier way to make fresh pumpkin by roasting them in the oven until soft. Ready? Let's do it!
Step 2: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 3: Remove stems, wash the outside well and cut in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and inside goop. (Save the seeds if you'd like to have them roasted later for a great snack!) Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Step 4: Place each half flesh-side down onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes or until the flesh is soft.
Step 5: Let cool completely. Scoop out soft flesh and either mash (for a courser pumpkin) or puree in blender for a smoother pumpkin. If the pumpkin is too thick to puree, you might add a tiny bit of water.
Storage: Store in tight-fitting container in fridge if you plan to use it within a few days...or store in freezer bags in the freezer for later use.
Ta-da! Now you have some yummy pumpkin to make pies, or soups, or cookies....mmm, I'm headed to the kitchen now! The best part of making your own is that it is fresher and better for you than any canned you'll buy!
Mom’s Pumpkin Custard Pie
2/3 c. pumpkin
3 eggs yolks
1 c. sugar
1 t. ground ginger
1 c. canned, evaporated milk
3 egg whites, beat until soft peaks form
1—unbaked 9” pie shell
~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients except egg whites together until combined.
~ Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
~ Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees until set in the center and lightly browned. Top will crack when done. (You may need to lightly cover with foil to keep from top turning too brown until center sets.)
~ Cool completely. Serve with fresh whipped cream and refrigerate leftovers.
Until next time, Happy Fall!