It’s Pumpkin Season

I absolutely love the scents and flavors of fall: the cinnamon and spices, the applesauce & apple cider, chai tea, and pumpkin pie!  Fall is quickly passing- stores are already displaying Christmas goods and playing Christmas music, so I need to get my fill of these treats before it’s time to move on to mint hot chocolate, wassail, and gingerbread.

Last month, we took a trip to a local pumpkin patch and had all kinds of autumn fun.  Each child selected a Sugar Pie Pumpkin to take home.  In the last few weeks, I’ve managed to figure out how to cook and puree the pumpkins so that we could bake some delicious fall pumpkin treats.

How to Bake a Pumpkin:

1.  Cut the pumpkin in half.

2.  Dig (and scrape) the seeds and stringy stuff out of the pumpkin with an ice cream scoop.

3.  Place each half in a baking dish in a half inch of water

4.  Bake it in a 375 degree oven for 60 minutes or until tender

5.  When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and mash or puree it (I used our Beaba Babycook– one of those baby appliances I would not like to live without!)

Pureed Pumpkin, thanks to our Beaba!

I was told on several websites that I should save the seeds, wash them, dry them on paper towels, and then use them for planting or roasting.  I found a recipe for maple-spiced roasted pumpkin seeds and it sounded quite tasty.  However, let me tell you, step number 3 is all wrong.  Do NOT use paper towels!  The pumpkin seeds stuck horribly and I had to rub paper towel bits off of each seed.  This was a lot of work and took a lot of time (and time in this household with four small children is quite precious).

Do NOT try this at home! Don’t use paper towels to dry them on unless you want to spend a LOT of time peeling paper off each seed.

Well, I labored over each seed and then was quite excited to try out the roasting recipe.  Unfortunately, I must not have let them dry thoroughly because when I placed them in a baggie to save for roasting in a few days (when I had time for such a project), they got covered in mold.  Grrrr.   I decided not to attempt this again with the next two pumpkins.  Maybe next year.  After I do a bit more thorough reading on this process.

However, I did end up with several cups of frozen pumpkin puree and I have have used about half of it so far for pumpkin bread (with chocolate chips in it!) and pumpkin pie.  Both were quite the hit with my children.  Even my husband, who is not a big pumpkin pie fan, thought the pumpkin pie was good.  I used my mom’s spiced pumpkin pie recipe and truly, it is delicious. The only thing I need to do differently next time is the crust.  I got a pie crust mix in a box and it had directions for a no-roll pie crust.  I thought it would save time and effort.  Nope.  Next time, I will roll out the crust.

Mom’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie:

The crust was a bit unattractive, but the pie was delicious and the pumpkin was just the right texture.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup (or 1 can) pumpkin

2 beaten eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

3/4 cup milk

This slice was served on a football plate- which is totally Thanksgiving-thematic!

Steps:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Stir pumpkin into beaten eggs

3.  Blend sugar, salt, and spices and add to pumpkin mixture

4.  Gradually stir in milk

5.  Pour into 9 inch pastry shell

6.  Bake until knife comes out clean (45-60 minutes)

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One thought on “It’s Pumpkin Season

  1. Pingback: Happy Pi Day! | Following Footprints

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