Sunday, November 8, 2009
Last week was a blur of too much time sitting on my but at my office desk, bumming in my pjs at home, and sleepless soul-searching nights. So the highlight of my workweek was probably taking the time to roast this sugar pumpkin into pumpkin puree - because it means I get to bake yummy pumpkin goodies. So far I made these pumpkin "brownies," (I recommend baking for 30-40 minutes) and pumpkin cupcakes for a friend's birthday party, which I'll tell you about later. I might be making an extra-special pumpkin treat tomorrow, and I already bought another pumpkin to freeze some puree for future baking. Guess I can cross pumpkin roasting off my fall to-do list!
Roasting pumpkins is an easy alternative to buying canned pumpkin this time of year. And it's a good idea to avoid canned foods, as cans are lined with the dreaded endocrine disruptor BPA, which has been shown to leach into canned products. Make sure you find a sugar pumpkin, not a pumpkin intended for Halloween carving/decoration, as sugar pumpkin flesh isn't as stringy and yields a sweet taste like the canned kind. Sugar pumpkins are available at farmers markets and some grocery stores, but if you can't find one, you can subsitute butternut or hubbard squash.
Stay tuned for more pumpkin recipes on here soon, hopefully.
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Preheat oven to 400.
Wash but do not peel pumpkin.
Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the pumpkin seed goo and stringy flesh (reserve to roast the seeds).
Lay each half in a pan with deep sides, flesh side down.
Add a half inch to an inch of water.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until flesh is completely soft and mushy.
Or if the shell is too hard to cut through, simply plop the whole pumpkin on a greased baking sheet.
Turn over halfway through baking, approximately 40 minutes each side.
At that point, you should be able to slice open the pumpkin easily.
Let cool before handling.
Again, scoop out the pumpkin seeds and reserve.
Scoop the soft flesh from the shell, and completely mash it with a fork. Store in an airtight container to cook/bake within two weeks. Or divide the puree into single-cup-size portions and freeze for later use.
My $2 sugar pumpkin yielded 4 cups of puree - a very good deal!