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Once Fall rolls around, I start thinking about Halloween. Halloween makes me think of pumpkins! Pumpkins make me think of homemade pumpkin puree, pumpkin pies, pumpkin loaf and all other things pumpkin. We love pumpkin!
When my sons were young, we always carved and decorated pumpkins at Halloween. We’d set them out on our porch with candles inside them to welcome all the kids who were trick or treating.
But my boys got older, of course. Once they became teenagers, they really weren’t into the pumpkin carving thing anymore. So I started turning our Halloween pumpkin into a Pumpkin pie every year.
I no longer bothered with carving them out and putting a candle inside. Instead I draw the pumpkin face on with a black Sharpie and set them out on the porch with our other Fall decorations.
We just leave all the porch lights turned on (and some inside ones too) to let the kids know we’re home.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Cleaning out the Pumpkin:
After Halloween, take the Pumpkin and clean it out. You can cut a “cap” out of the top so that you can get in there and scrape out all the pulp and seeds.
Use a large metal spoon and scrape the inside wall, all the way around. Get off as much stringy pulp as you can.
You can cut the pumpkin in half now, much like you would a squash. Or just leave it whole with the cap back on. Or don’t even bother with cutting a cap, if you don’t mind scooping out the pulp and seeds after baking.
Put a layer of tin foil on a cookie sheet and place the pumpkin on the tin foil.
Put it in an oven set at 350F. Let it bake for awhile. How long it takes will depend on the size of your pumpkin. Large pumpkins can take several hours to cook through.
Once the Pumpkin is soft and mushy, it’s ready. You can probably tell just by looking at it, as it will be somewhat sunken in.
Test it by poking a fork in it. If the fork easily goes through the whole wall of the pumpkin, it’s ready. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Then, just scrape all the flesh into a bowl. Doing this while the pumpkin is warm makes it very easy and quick.
You will have already removed all the stringy stuff and seeds, so this part of the process won’t take long. Mash the pumpkin with a fine masher to break it down into a puree. Your homemade Pumpkin Puree is now ready to use in pies or baked loaves.
Making a Pumpkin Pie from Scratch:
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/3 cup evaporated milk
Mix the sugar, spices and salt well.
Add the water and mix together well.
Stir in the eggs and blend. Add the pumpkin and the milk. Mix well together.
Pour into prepared pie shell.
Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 F and bake for 45 - 50 minutes.
Use the Pumpkin flesh to make a pie, cookies or a Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf or eat it as a side dish with dinner.
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