Wednesday, November 12, 2014

HOW TO ROAST SUGAR PUMPKINS

A few weeks back, I saw these little pumpkins that are called "Pie Pumpkins" or "Sugar Pumpkins".  I did some research and found that they are grown to be used for pumpkin pies and they are supposed to have more flavor.  The first thing we had to learn was how to roast and process them.  

Below is how we did it:




First, slice them in half.  Be VERY VERY careful, they are hard and you need a sharp knife and a careful and steady hand.  As you can see, they are filled with seeds and the stringy pulp.



Using a spoon (we used a large metal scoop type spoon) scrape out the pulp and seeds.  You may have to scrape a little to get it all out but it comes out pretty easily.





You'll get a lot of seeds and pulp.  If you like roasted pumpkin seeds, don't throw this out.  We'll have a pumpkin seed roasting 101 coming soon.  If you don't care for them, toss them in the compost pile.




Rub the inside and outside with canola oil and place them, cut side down, on a sheet pan/cookie sheet.



Roast at 350 degrees on the middle rack of your oven for about an hour.  The skin will start to wrinkle and darken and the kitchen will smell like, well, pumpkins!



Let them cool a bit, they will be very hot so be careful.  If they are cooked through, the skin should just peel off.  You might have to pull off smaller pieces by hand, but it will more or less come off using a spoon and some patience.



Pull the chunky pumpkin flesh away from the skin and put it into a bowl.  Don't worry about cutting it up or worry about it if it breaks up because it's all going to be pureed in the next step.


The best and easiest thing to use is a stick blender (or immersion blender as they are also called).  A food processor works great as well.  You could also put it, a little bit at a time, into a regular blender.  Whatever you use, just blend it until smooth and creamy.



As you can see, there is a lot of moisture that will need to be removed.  This liquid is what will ruin your pies or baked goods, so the best thing to do is to let it drain.



We put it into a mesh strainer set over a larger bowl and just let nature take its course.  It took about an hour or so, with occasional stirring (to make sure it all gets out) for it to drain.



Don't mash it too hard as you stir it in the mesh strainer or you might lose some pulp as we did here.  As you can see, the liquid will just pour out for awhile and then slow to a drip.
Sugar Pie Pumpkin puree
We ended up with about six cups of puree and we vacuum sealed them in our Foodsaver bags and popped them in the freezer.  We will be making a pie with some of it soon and we also just picked up four more sugar pumpkins so we should end up with six more cups soon.  We figured better to get them now while they are readily available.

Thanks and good luck!


14 comments:

  1. With your cold weather approaching, my mind turns to pumpkin soup.

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  2. i did this once and it didn't make the best pie for me. i should try it again.

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    1. Dang, I hope ours comes out. Good or bad, we'll post about it when we do it. :-)

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  3. I did this last year, though I could have used your help with instructions, it took me trial and error..any way I did it and will never have canned pumpkin again, my roasted pumpkins (we called them pie pumpkins) were just delicious.

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    1. Well, that's encouraging, ha. Thanks!!

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  4. Thanks for the post. One thing I have always done is put the halves in a baking dish with about 1/2" - 3/4" of water. No oil. I don't know if it's a labor saver or not, but has always worked ok. Sugar pumpkins are indeed useful--I've used them for pies, casserole, and scones (so far). I did two a couple of weeks ago and got about the same amount of puree as you did. I'm only limited by freezer space.

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    1. Thanks for that...I did see some options with the baking dish as water. We just had so many halves this was about the only way to get them all done at once, ha. Thanks for the info and scones, dang, that sounds good too!!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I've been wanting to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned. Thanks for the great tutorial. This will be a good reason to turn on the oven and warm up the house during this cold spell.

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    1. I'll let you know how it goes. It's an experiment for us, though I DID buy four more sugar (pie) pumpkins 'just in case' ha. And yes, baking is always welcome on these cold days.

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  6. I still have some pumpkin puree in the freezer that I had done last year.
    Been using my puree in making pumpkin bars which I make every year cause it makes quite a large batch of bars; baked in my 11x15in. Wilton pan

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    1. Pumpkin bars? Yum!! Glad to know pumpkin puree works for you. I wasn't sure how much to put into a baggie, so I did three cups each, Figured that was enough for a pie but who knows. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  7. The Hurricane makes pumpkin pies from a pumpkin. She's an excellent cook.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Well thank you for the backing up of using it. This is a first for us, so we have our fingers crossed. More to come! ;-)

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