Ok here it is. Your tutorial on cooking pumpkins so you can make real pumpkin pie. I have experimented with this process a lot over the years but this is the easiest method in my opinion.
Also I used two different pumpkins this year. I bought 2 small ‘pie pumpkins’ and several large regular pumpkin (which for some reason ended up being oddly stringy inside). In the past I have always just gotten the big regular ones and they taste great. But I thought it would be fun to get the ones that are supposedly for pies and see if they are any different. One of the small ones made enough for one pie. My total yield for this project yesterday was enough to make about 20 pies or a few pies and lots of other yummy pumpkin things.
Ok so lets get started….
Cut your pumpkin in half with a very sharp knife. Then into quarters.
Remove all the seeds and gunk from the inside. I just use my hands and pull out the seeds, the stringy stuff will all get pureed so not a huge deal to worry about that too much. If you plan to bake the seeds now is an easy time to separate them from the gunk.
After you get all the stuff out, place the pumpkin quarters onto rimmed baking sheets cover with foil and place in a 400˚ oven. Or you can be lazy like me and just through some foil over the top of all of them in the oven.
You should be able to pull the pieces apart very easily with your hands. Pull them out of the oven and allow to cool to about room temperature.
Like my super old food processor? It was $5 at a garage sale and runs like a champ. Turn it on and let it run for about a minute. Turn it off and use a spoon to break up any rebellious chunks if there are any.
**If you do not have a food processor you can use a blender. I found it handy to break everything up in my stand mixer first, so I would dump everything into the bowl of the mixer, using the paddle attachment turn it on low for a minute or so. Then transfer as much as you think your blender can handle into your blender. Mine wasn’t a very good one so I would fill it about halfway and add some water. Blend, mix, blend mix and so on until you get a nice smooth consistency. It takes longer in the blender because you have to do smaller batches and play with it a lot more to get it smooth, but it can be done. I did like this for like 7 years. So there ya go. **
So after it’s all nice and smooth and creamy looking I like to strain it just a little to make sure there isn’t excess water. Although if it is thick enough that it won’t pour and you have to get a spoon or spatula out to get it to move with bowl tipped, you’re probably ok to skip this step. To strain it I simply place a colander over a large bowl and put a layer of cheesecloth inside and dump in the pumpkin.
Then stick it in your freezer bag. I like to fold down the top of the bag so the pumpkin doesn’t get everywhere. Saves you from having to clean it all off the outside and then let the bag dry so you can put it in the freezer.
Then stick it in the freezer, or in the fridge if you plan on using it soon. These are just the first two bags, there’s a lot more in there now!