Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin

Have you ever wondered how to roast a pumpkin? Here's how I do it.

All photographs (c) 10/11/11, Kathy Fannon
(Click to enlarge)

It's fall and I love pumpkin! But mostly I love it in my Pumpkin Coconut Multi-Grain Crockpot Oatmeal! This year I decided to plan ahead and roast my own to keep in the freezer for use this winter instead of using canned. I think the flavor and texture are so much better, and I always love supporting my local farmers!

I also love to use it in muffinsyogurt and even omelets (about 1 teaspoon per egg)!

I buy the $1 pie pumpkins, usually 4 per trip to the market. I think I figured out I need about 16 - 20 pumpkins to get what I need for winter use. 

I rinse the dirt off the outside of the pumpkin before cutting so I don't end up with dirt and mud on my counter-top, clothes or food.

I cut the tops off just as if I were going to carve it for a jack-o-lantern and pull the seeds out. I put them in a strainer and rinse them so I can roast them later.

I cut each pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the goop. I keep a plastic grocery bag next to me to throw it in for easy clean up.

I fit 2 pumpkins on each foil-lined cookie sheet and brush them with a little olive oil to keep them from drying out.

I bake them at 325* for two hours.

After they cool enough to handle, I use a paring knife to take the peel off, then cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks (1/32 size) and put them in a baking dish. (Again, keep a plastic grocery bag handy for easy clean up.)

Cover the pumpkin with foil and bake them in a 375* oven for about an hour.

 When the pumpkin can easily mash with a fork I know it is done.

When it has cooled just a little I put it into a mixing bowl and mash it. I like a little texture so I try not to over-do the whipping.

I put the mashed pumpkin in pie plate (because that's what's easy for me) to let it cool. Every time I walk by I gave it stir until it is cool to put in bags to freeze.

This time I ended up with 2 pie plates full of roasted, mashed pumpkin, about 14 1/2 cups in all.

I measure it into one-cup amounts and put it in sandwich bags. I flatten the bags and try to squeeze out as much air as possible. (Not always easy.) I lay them back on the cookie sheet and put them into the freezer. Once frozen I put them into gallon-size freezer bags marked with the date so when I need it...voila'!

It can be time consuming to do so much at once. Yesterday I started in the kitchen about 11:00 am and finished around 9:30 pm, although I probably would've been done earlier if I hadn't also been doing other things along with this. 

And since there is so much baking and cooling time, it's not like I spent the whole day in the kitchen. I did lots of writing and sitting in the sun, enjoying what little bit of summer weather is left.

I think I need to do about 8 more pumpkins and I should be all set for the year, so I plan on two more days in the kitchen.

I challenge you to do just one little pie pumpkin and see how you like it compared to canned. You can use it for pie, yogurt, muffins, oatmeal, or as a side-dish with a little pure maple syrup and pecans with chicken (fabulous!).

Here are some more pumpkin ideas.

Anybody want to do this "with" me? What creative ways can you come up with to used mashed pumpkin?

Do you know of somebody who would like to know how to do this? Please share this post with them! Thank you!

Read my previous post: Grand Rapids Art Prize 2011
Read my next post: Pumpkin Pie Yogurt