How to Bake a Fresh Pumpkin (for pie, etc)

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This instructable will show you how to prepare and bake a fresh pumpkin for use in pies, breads, and other delectable treats. I'll add a separate instructable for how to actually make the pie and bread later, this is just preparing the pumpkin.

For this instructable, you'll want to use pie pumpkins. These are smaller and smoother than jack-o-lantern pumpkins and taste much better. Pie pumpkins are closer to the size of a small melon, like a honeydew.

2 pumpkins will provide enough baked pumpkin for a pie and a couple of small loaves of bread.

You'll also need:
  • A sharp, non-serrated knife
  • a cutting board
  • some tin-foil
  • a large pan for baking

Step 1: Cleaning the Pumpkin

First, you'll want to wash any dirt off the outside of your pumpkin. No one wants to eat dirt.

Then, cut the pumpkin in half. I find it's easier to cut in a square around the stem and that weird spot on the base, since they're pretty woody areas. It's best to use a non-serrated knife for this, and to be careful. Make a lot of small short cuts rather than trying to go all the way through in one shot.

Once your cuts go all the way around, pry the pumpkin apart. If your cuts are clean enough, this will be easy, but if they're not, you may want to try putting one half on the counter, and leaning on the other half to let your weight do the work for you.

After you've separated your pumpkin halves, use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy stuff. I usually just throw all this away, but you can save the seeds for toasting if you like.

When you're done, you'll have two nice clean pumpkin halves. Making them this clean before baking saves some trouble after they've been baked and are soft and mushy.
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SydneyG114 days ago

Wait after the pumpkins have cooled and i start scraping.. am i scraping what's in the inside of the pumpkin or am i also getting the skin too? I'm really confused on this step.

soundinnovation (author)  SydneyG114 days ago

You are scraping the baked pumpkin flesh off of the skin. The skin itself is discarded.

meatwagons.1 month ago

About how long does this stay good for?

ruth195311 months ago
can you freeze the pumpkin after it has been cooked?
Very nice!
rosewood5133 years ago
Actually a pie pumpkin is a blue hubbard squash. That is what Sara Lee uses in her pumpkin pie. I read that on their site once. They have less water so it is easier to make the pies from it.
But i still like to use regualr pumpkins to eat and make seeds with.
tqwerty4 years ago
When I do this I cover the pumpkins with tinfoil as well as line the pan. That way, you don't get the uneven burnt skin which can result in burnt insides and burney taste. It tastes much better that way and more of the juices stay in seeing as it roasts and steams at the same time
tqwerty4 years ago
you can use the blender as well
what can you do with the inside of the pumpkin
The seeds can be seasoned and toasted. Just wash off the stringy bits and toss the seeds in a spoonful of oil and your seasoning of choice, similar to how you would prepare popcorn. Then, toast them in flat pan in the oven at about 325 degrees F for 5-15 minutes, stirring them every now and then until they look dry and slightly golden at the edges. You can eat them like sunflower seeds, peeling off the outer shell, or just eat the whole thing if you don't mind the woody texture.

I'm not sure about what you could do with the stringy stuff, other than use it for compost.
I love doing this, the seeds taste so good (I like to lightly salt them).
Pumpkin seeds also go well in nutroasts, if you don't mind sitting and shucking them
Jayefuu4 years ago
This is great. Too many ibles just say "add pureed pumpkin", this should give people a clue how to do that if they don't want to just use stuff from a can. Nice work.
hollyml4 years ago
Using a masher has some entertainment value, but -- especially if you're working with a large quantity -- a food processor will do this step with greater speed and ease.  And, if you like, you can add spices and/or other pie filling ingredients and mix them in with the food processor also.
dxf2245 years ago
Is a pie pumpkin just a small immature pumpkin ?
soundinnovation (author)  dxf2245 years ago
I'm not sure exactly. I think they're more like a different strain of pumpkin that is bred to be smaller and taste better, where as a jack-o-lantern pumpkin is bred to be larger. Kinda like super big watermelons vs small seedless watermelons.