Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pie Pumpkins

"You're going to do WHAT to my pumpkins?"
I first saw these at the grocery store a few years ago and purchased them for each of my students for Halloween. They were doubly excited when they found out that they could actually eat their pumpkins! I have to admit that I never cooked mine. It ended up in the trash after the holiday had passed and I never thought about it again, until I saw a recipe for pumpkin baby food!

Baking the pumpkin was the easy part! The most difficult task was cutting it in half! I followed this tutorial to bake my pumpkin face down in a 9x13" glass dish. While it was in the oven, I separated my seeds & innards with a method I'll coin "Squeeze The Guts" in light of Halloween (which I realize was a month ago, but you can call it that next year). I grabbed handfuls of the guts and seeds and simply squeezed them in my fists over a colander. The seeds fell effortlessly into the silver colander...and so did a few bits and pieces of the guts, but nothing I couldn't fish out. The seeds needed to dry overnight before baking, so I laid them out on a cookie sheet and went about my day.

Back to the pumpkin. It cooked for about an hour in the 1/4" water. Then I scrapped it out, pureed it, and poured it into ice cube trays. I reserved 1/2 cup to mix with some Granny Smith apples I had simmered with just a touch of cinnamon.

As for those tasty seeds, I tossed them in butter mixed with garlic salt and baked them for 30 minutes at 300*F. Another variation I saw was to boil the seeds in salt water immediately after harvesting, rest overnight to dry, then toss with butter (and garlic powder if you prefer) before baking at 300* for 30 minutes.

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