We carved our Halloween jack-o-lanterns quite late this year--like on Halloween day! I know. Life was just moving a little bit fast around here and that was the soonest we could get to it. Anyway, I sent the kids out to the porch to get their pumpkins and they got busy creating all kinds of adorable. Later that afternoon, as we were setting the finished lanterns out to shine, I noticed one lone pumpkin that they neglected to bring in. Poor sad pumpkin.
It has been sitting on my counter ever since. I look at it everyday and wonder what I am going to do with it. Well today was the day. I had a date with a pumpkin. I decided that I would try making my own puree. This is not a pie pumpkin--it's just your run of the mill carving pumpkin. But, I figured that I didn't have much to lose. And I didn't want this little guy to go to waste.
I have tasted pumpkin pies in the past made with real pumpkin and I have NOT liked them. I am a big fan of Libby's. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Let's do this.
I cut the top off of my pumpkin and sliced it down the middle. Then I proceeded to slice it into manageable wedges. Next I scraped off all of the seeds and stringy parts. I cut my wedges in half and put them in a big stock pot. Then I added a couple of inches of water and let them simmer until they were fork-tender. I drained off the liquid and let them cool.
Once the wedges were cooled completely, I removed the skins with a paring knife. Then I put the pulp into a blender and blended away. I really went to town on this part. The fresh pumpkin pies that I have tried in the past have been lumpy and stringy. I think that is what turned me off. So, I probably went overboard on the blending. But, much to my surprise...it turned out beautifully!
I would say that this pumpkin was just a medium sized little guy. Not small, but definitely not big. He yielded about twelve cups of puree. Not too bad. Much cheaper than buying Libby's. (worth it if it tastes good). I have read that puree made from carving pumpkins contains much more water than pie pumpkins. So, I dumped my puree into a fine mesh sieve and let it drain for quite a while. I probably got close to four cups of water off of it by the time I was done.
I think the whole process actually worked. And it really wasn't that labor intensive. The hardest part was definitely cutting it down to a workable size. Those pumpkins are pretty tough dudes!
I guess the proof is in the pudding...or pie...or bread.
(The coloring on this picture is a little off. The bread is actually a bit oranger than it shows--delicious!)
Tune in tomorrow for the recipe!