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How to process Fresh Pumpkin?


cakedecorator1968
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I roasted a small pumpkin last night - I was going to try a pie today but had to put it off until tomorrow. Cut the thing in half, cleaned it out and roasted at 350 for about an hour - skin peeled right off.

Other than that, I've only used it in soup or cut up and roasted as a side.

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After you cook it and mash it up a bit, set it in a colander or strainer to drain off a bit.

Fresh pumpkin is fairly watery compared to canned. You'll get better flavor and texture

if you drain it. :rolleyes:

Speaking of pumpkin, I mentioned on the "Sugar price" thread that my Puratos rep warned

me about difficulty getting canned pumpkin this year. My local Puratos warehouse could

only get two pallets from Libby's for the ENTIRE HOLIDAY SEASON. I guess there was a bad

crop last year and this year too. I just may end up having to use a lot of fresh this year!

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Speaking of pumpkin, I mentioned on the "Sugar price" thread that my Puratos rep warned

me about difficulty getting canned pumpkin this year. My local Puratos warehouse could

only get two pallets from Libby's for the ENTIRE HOLIDAY SEASON. I guess there was a bad

crop last year and this year too. I just may end up having to use a lot of fresh this year!

The odd thing about that, is for the last two years I was looking for pumpkins late summer/early fall and couldn't find any. This year they've been available for over a month in all of the grocery stores. Maybe this is another one of those things I can make money on by loading up the Jeep and heading south... :wink:

I also like pumpkin muffins - must buy another pumpkin and come up with a recipe.

Edited by Pam R (log)
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Doesn't seem to be any shortage of canned pumpkin up here on Vancouver Island. Safeway had a special this past week (leading up to our Thanksgiving this weekend) of $1 a 14-oz can and now has the big cans for $1.99, an excellent price. I tried using a real pumpkin last year to make puree and decided it wasn't better enough in pies and muffins to make all the schmozzle with it worthwhile.

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I only use fresh, I think that it is so much better. I use sugar pie pumpkins or kabocha. I cut them in half (and do not clean), and place them cut side down in a roasting pan with a couple inches of water in it, cover with foil and bake til soft (45-60 min). I cool them covered, then scoop out the seeds and innards and toss. I then puree the rest (scooped out of skin) in the cusinart. Often I need to add water if the puree is too thick. I find only jack-o-lantern pumpkins to be watery (they are not good for baking).

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I've been using onyl fresh pumkins as well. I've had good results with the "Rouge vif d'Étampes" variety. The only problem is that they are huge, so in addition to pie we had pumpkin soup for a few days, plus some leftover purée for the freezer !

edited: I hear blue hubbard is a fantastic variety as well.

Edited by Mallet (log)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I only use fresh, I think that it is so much better. I use sugar pie pumpkins or kabocha. I cut them in half (and do not clean), and place them cut side down in a roasting pan with a couple inches of water in it, cover with foil and bake til soft (45-60 min). I cool them covered, then scoop out the seeds and innards and toss. I then puree the rest (scooped out of skin) in the cusinart. Often I need to add water if the puree is too thick. I find only jack-o-lantern pumpkins to be watery (they are not good for baking).

actually ive used jack olantern pumpkins for quite some time without any real problems...yes they are watery ..however if you want to drain the water out of them i find its much easier if after draining through a strainer..i also put it in a cheesecloth and squeeze out the rest of it...i wind up with something very close to packed pumpkin without all the added stuff in the canned variety and they do make pretty good pies... at least to me they do..ive never found much of a difference in the flavor... i do what works best for me..and yes givign them the addedd squeeze through the cheesecloth is a little extra work..but i find its worth it

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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There's two different canned pumpkin products available - the plain solid-pack pumpkin and then the pumpkin pie filling, which does have spices added. I never realized it until I bought the pie filling once by mistake.

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I use butternut squash, personally. Split, scoop out seeds, and roast at 375 until it starts to caramelize (up to 2 hours). But that's only for my pies. If I were going to make muffins or something else, I'd probably just buy canned pumpkin.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I've roasted another sugar pumpkin. Neither the one I did the other night or the one today needed to have water drained off.

I've baked a pie and a pumpkin/cranberry coffee cake with the fresh pumpkin (cooking now) and I have a pie in the oven now with canned pumpkin to compare. The fillings for the two weren't all that different - the fresh pumpkin was a little looser (just a little) and a little lighter in colour. Taste test once they're both cooled.

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without all the added  stuff in the canned variety

Taken from the can of Libby's... "Ingredient: Pumpkin."

Di

thats nice...but i never bought libby's ..like the other person the only time i ever went with the canned stuff it was the filling..still i prefer to make my own..but thank you for pointing out this piece of information..im sure it will be most helpful to those who prefer to buy the canned variety..i just happen to prefer doing mine all the way from scratch..may be a few extra steps but i get a great deal of satisfaction from it.. i dont think there is any shame to want to make it all the way from scratch..nor is there any shame in making it from canned pumpkin...its all a matter of prefernece..there is no right or wrong way to do it..as i said..just a matter of preference

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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I too, enjoy the "Process" of using fresh pumpkin- and the anticipation of fall seasonal produce. I've been baking professionally for over 20 years- and have never used canned pumpkin- even when I was in a hotel and responsible for four restaurants. To me, the canned smells funny and I don't like the color. It is once again about personal preference (I love butternut squash too!)

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Just did two pumpkins the other day. It is so easy that I really wouldn't consider buying canned. And, honestly, the flavour is much fresher than canned pumpkin.

Cut in half, scoop out seeds, bake cut-side-down (425o for about 45 minutes) on a large baking sheet with just a film of water. When fairly soft, turn over to let it dry out a bit. Scoop out flesh and puree. I also drained out some of the liquid by lining a colander with coffee filters. Drained for about an hour and lost plenty of water. Nice thick puree. I made two pies and froze the rest in containers for later.

Ok, so it's not instant, but it really isn't much work. I like starting with real pumpkins. There's something so wholesome about them.

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Just did two pumpkins the other day. It is so easy that I really wouldn't consider buying canned. And, honestly, the flavour is much fresher than canned pumpkin.

Cut in half, scoop out seeds, bake cut-side-down (425o for about 45 minutes) on a large baking sheet with just a film of water. When fairly soft, turn over to let it dry out a bit. Scoop out flesh and puree. I also drained out some of the liquid by lining a colander with coffee filters. Drained for about an hour and lost plenty of water. Nice thick puree. I made two pies and froze the rest in containers for later.

Ok, so it's not instant, but it really isn't much work. I like starting with real pumpkins. There's something so wholesome about them.

i echo this sentiment....and you just cant get that fresh flavor from a can...sorry to say but it is true..which IS a large part of the reason why i rpefer to do it from scratch

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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I like starting with real pumpkins. There's something so wholesome about them.

i echo this sentiment....and you just cant get that fresh flavor from a can...sorry to say but it is true..which IS a large part of the reason  why i rpefer  to do it from scratch

I agree. After baking two pies the other day - one fresh, one canned - but otherwise exactly the same - I liked the fresh one more.

Edited by Pam R (log)
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There is no such thing as canned pumpkin where I live. So I always use fresh, and have never used anything else.

Either roast or steam the pumpkin, don't boil it, it retains too much water.

Mash or if you really want a fine product mash and then push through a sieve.

The best pumpkins for pie and baking are Crown or Triamble varieties. They are the grey/blue ones that don't look fancy but have the best flavour and texture.

Good luck with the pies!

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Oh .. did not see the whole question.. what other things do I like to make with pumpkin?

Sweet things might include

pumpkin /chocolate bars with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin cake

Pumpkin-Maple creme brulee

Pumpkin waffles

pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin cookies.

Savory things -

Pumpkin and ginger soup ( a winter mainstay in our house) Or Pumpkin and orange soup

Pumpkin and bacon fritters

Pumpkin poached in Dashi

Pumpkin roasted with garlic and rosemary

Pumpkin and sweet potato curry ( another winter dish that often seems to be made)

Pumpkins are cheap and plentiful here and work so well roasted with a medley of vegetables and a nice roast leg of lamb or chicken.

I LOVE pumpkin! :biggrin:

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Anyone using fresh pumpkin have any strange skin reactions? I got a couple pie pumpkins this weekend and roasted one last night to puree, but after handling it, the skin on my hands got so tight that they were throbbing and the skin started cracking. After several rounds of washing and gobs of lotion, I was doing ok, but then as a test put my hand in the bowl of seeds and the reaction was instantaneous. I eat pumpkin seeds frequently, so doubt I have an allergy.

Needless to say, after the reaction to my skin, I pitched the pumpkin. Most disappointing.

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Does anybody like to use fresh pumpkin in their pies? If so what is the best way to process and cook the pumpkin???

Other than pie what other things do you like to make?

Funny I should find this question today--I'm teaching a class tonight called "The Incredible Edible Pumpkin" and plan to have my class cook as many of these as they have time for:

Blatschindas--Spiced Pumpkin Turnovers

Pumpkin-Apricot Muffins

Pumpkin Fluff Dip

Pumpkin Biscuits

Chick Pea and Roast Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Mushroom Bisque

Creamy Pumpkin Polenta

Poached Pumpkin in Syrup

Inside-Out-Upside-Down Pumpkin Pie (sort of a souffle)

5-Spice Pumpkin Pie

1- Minute Pumpkin Cheesecake

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Loaves with Orange Butter

Fettucine with Pumpkin and Chicken

Candied Pumpkin

Pumpkin Pickles

Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin Marmalade

All are pretty yummy--I particularly like the biscuits (they're good with orange marmalade and the Pumpkin Fluff Dip) and the Pumpkin Mushroom Bisque.

If anyone wants any of the recipes, I'll share after the class when I have a breather to post them.

Edited by chefcyn (log)
It's not the destination, but the journey!
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This is destined to be pumpkin soup for about 25 served from the pumpkin as a tureen...then carved for Halloween.

Select pumpkin from pumpkin patch. Get into wheelbarrow (heavy!).

This one is the variety Atlantic Giant, and weighed, according to the bathroom scales about 40Kg/90lb. They can get twice this size.

gallery_7620_135_2145.jpggallery_7620_135_7247.jpg

Slice off top, That is an 8 inch Sabatier breadknife.

Remove the seeds and stringy buts, and some of the flesh, but leave enough so its structually sound.

gallery_7620_135_4052.jpggallery_7620_135_4587.jpg

Chop up the bits of pumpkin and roast off in butter and olive oil for and hour or two.

Since this is for soup there is some onion in there as well. As I said up thread, I cheat and use some butternut squash as well. I think its not as watery as pumpkin.

gallery_7620_135_11355.jpggallery_7620_135_3998.jpg

Tomorrow I'll stew this with some sherry, and milk, liquidise with a hand blender, sieve, correct seasonings, and finish with croutons, grated gruyere cheese, and chives, pour into and serve from the pumpkin.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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