Baking Pumpkins

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Wanna know what happens around here when you wait until the day before Halloween to buy your carving pumpkin? You don’t get one!

This year we waited too long (oops) and didn’t grow our own, so we ended up with this pumpkin as our Halloween display:

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Yep, that’s a pie pumpkin that the kiddo painted since we didn’t have a good carving pumpkin.

Well, what should I do with a pie pumpkin when it’s time to decorate for Christmas and the jack-o-lantern is getting a little bit soft? Make pumpkin puree!

I’ve always avoided making homemade pumpkin puree because it seems so messy and time-consuming. I really didn’t want to spend all day peeling and scooping for a few dollars worth of pumpkin puree…sorry, I’m just that kind of lazy, I suppose!

So, when I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs, Heavenly Homemaker, that said pumpkins can be roasted whole, I wanted to try.

Start by placing the pumpkin in a baking dish, no oiling or water required. Bake at 350 degrees for about 75 minutes. (It might not be a good idea to bake paint, I suppose, but it’s the pumpkin I had so…whatever.)

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Our pumpkin looked a little darker and crusty when he was done baking. The skin was easily pierced with a fork or fingernail.

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Our pumpkin flesh cooked down inside the skin formed by the shell. The skin separated easily from the flesh. After it cooled, it was time to peel and mash!

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The skin was so soft and broken down that the skin and seeds separated easily from the flesh. The flesh was also so soft that it easily mashed into a puree-like texture with just a fork.

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I probably could have put the mash into a blender at this point to make a very smooth puree, much like homemade baby food. But, it was smooth enough for my purposes, which will probably include pumpkin scones and other baked goods.

Bagged and tagged and in the freezer… in about 15 minutes total work time!

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(Yes, that is Anna, Elsa and Olaf on our plastic bags…don’t judge 🙂

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