Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Use me up!



If you're like me...you're Jack O Lanterns sit around after Halloween, until they start to have more wrinkles than the grandma from The Beverly Hillbillies.

Well not this year!! Dammit...Not this year. Growing up we always had fresh pumpkin bread and pies throughout the year. How? My dad would cook the pumpkins and then freeze the pulp to be used year round. I was never really interested in doing this, because I could always get a few quarts from him, when I wanted. But, I like the tradition that he started. I'm all about tradition.

So I asked him how he did it and it turns out that it's really pretty easy. The hardest part is that it takes some time. So plan for a few hours...but once you make pumpkin bread or pie with fresh {not canned} pumpkin you will never want to go back.

You will walk into grocery stores and laugh at the outrageous prices they charge for canned pumpkin pie. You will stroll your farmers market that has pumpkin butter and think, "Ha, I could do that." You will just shake your head while a sly smile spreads across your face as your neighbor compliments you on the most delicious pie she's ever had.

So, I'm going to share with you just how easy it is. Ready?!


Okay...first things first...Chop'er up!! Be careful. Pumpkin is thick and hard {hey, don't even go there, this isn't Top Chef} and doesn't slice easily, you will have to use some pressure. Please don't slice your finger off. I can't stand the sight of blood.



Put pieces onto a cookie sheet with a little water. Really only a little...it doesn't even need to cover the bottom. I'd say about 1 1/2 cups.


Cover with foil and bake for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. You can pull out after an hour and poke it with a fork {just under the skin} to see if it's really soft. Once it's soft and I mean really soft, it's done. Pull out, uncover and let it cool.

Now comes the fun part. I tend to slice the pieces again, just so I can peel them a little easier. Just hold in your hand skin side down and using a paring knife slice as close to the skin as you can and put pumpkin into a large bowl or food processor. You just need to pulse this a few times...you'll see how quickly it breaks down.
Those of you without food processor's {like me}. I put the chunks into a bowl and use a hand blender. Then place into a colander and let it sit for at least 20 mins. {longer if you have the time} You need to let the water drain out.

Can you see the water collecting on the side? It will slowly make it's way out and into your sink.


Well, that's it. Put into jars, air tight plastic containers, whatever! I happen to use my plastic sandwich containers {also it perfectly holds 2 Cups of pumpkin, which most recipes will call for} of which I have many.


Then go ahead and make a pumpkin pie. I'll be back with a recipe. Just try and take a picture BEFORE your family eats it.

It really is easy. I may have made it sound a little more difficult than it actually is. I hope not :)


Mama loves me some fresh pumpkin pie :)

You'll notice that the color isn't that weird orangey {sp?} brown shade. Uh, that's cause you used real, not from the can pumpkin :)

Photobucket

6 Shout Out:

Jen said...

OK I HAVE A QUESTION!!! My pumpkins have been sitting outside in the rain/cold/sun since Halloween- is it too late? (And is it gross that I'm even asking at this point??)

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa! I've always been afraid {and not real sure} of using my own. And I'm with you on getting rid of those pumpkins/jacks quickly. My parents still had one up until the week before Christmas last year, and that's just wrong.

MiMi said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing, now my pies can actually be made from SCRATCH scratch. No cans!

Connie Weiss said...

What a great way to make sure the pumpkins don't go to waste!

jenjen said...

It's sad that I have never cooked one of my Halloween pumpkins, I know. I really need to do that. And it's also sad that we didn't get around to carving ours this year. So there really isn't any excuse for me not to cook those babies right up.

Thanks for the tips! Hope you are having a good week Lisa!

XOXO
Jen

Jane said...

Hi Lisa,
So glad you are joining in on the play kitchen build along! You will have plenty of time! No worries. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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