How to Bake a Fresh Pumpkin (for Pie, Etc)





Introduction: 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.

Step 2: Baking and Waiting

Next you'll actually bake the pumpkin halves.

Line a large pan with the tin-foil. This is kinda optional, but it saves a lot of time in clean up since the juices will run out and burn during baking. Because of the juices, you'll want to use a pan that has edges to it, not just a flat cookie sheet.

Lay your pumpkin halves face down on the pan.

Set the oven to around 350 degrees, or around 180 Celsius.

Stick the pan in the oven, and then wait for about an hour and a half to 2 hours. The actual time will vary depending on how thick your pumpkins are and how hot your oven actually gets.

You can check the pumpkins every so often to see if they are tender by sticking a fork in them.
Once they're nice and soft that means they're done.

Step 3: Cooling and Scraping

Once your baked pumpkin halves have cooled enough to hold, grab one and use a spoon to start scraping the soft pumpkin flesh off the skin and into a bowl.

Don't worry about the burned parts of the skin, but if there are any burned parts of pumpkin flesh, you may not want to include those.

Throw away the leftover skins, or compost them, or whatever.

Step 4: Mash It

In the final step of preparing your pumpkin, you're going to mash it.

Grab that potato masher and give it some experience with a new type of produce.
Mash to your heart's content. Or until your arms get tired.

And that's it. Now you have pumpkin that is ready to be used for making tasty pies and breads.

Usually, especially when making pies, I like to mix the pumpkin with the liquid ingredients and then blend the whole mixture to create an extra smooth pie filling.

Enjoy, and go make some tasty goodness.



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Baked and 'squashed' and make pumpkin bars.....they are super moist and delicious! Merry Christmas;-)

So i cut off the outside shell/skin when the pumpkin cools?

my grandpa used to put a little molasses in his pumpkin , I do now too, gives a great flavor, and also gives pies a little darker color. ( I don't use a specific amount, I just add till I think it " looks " right. I add when I blend everything up.

From what I've read, the canned pumpkin you buy is actually butternut squash, It starts out darker, and is probably cooked to a temperature high enough to carmelize, or has color added. Hubbard squash, which is a blue skinned, deep orange fleshed squash, or pink banana squash are also good alternatives.

Be sure not to use jack o lantern pumpkins, they are a different species, have a lot more moisture, and are stringy almost like a spaghetti squash. You end up with yellow or even greenish watery grainy pulp even after blending, and grainy pie.

with larger Jack -O-Lantern Pumpkins, Baking helps keep it from getting watery and actually produced a nice creamy meat for me. But I imagine the smaller ones would be tastier to some degree.

I've tried baking several ways, even pressure cooking. Every large jack-o-lantern pumpkin I've tried comes out poorly. The worst have almost yellow flesh closer to a spaghetti squash. All of them were excessively watery.

An actual pie or sugar pumpkin, or one of the other squash will work better. The commercial canned type is cooked down to a certain moisture content, with special equipment to keep it from burning.

grest recipe. I had a good harvest, and followed the directions and now I have pumpkin for pie, bread etc, thru the winter. Thanks

crap I thought a pumpkin was a pumpkin. Is that why it was like spaghetti squash? I thought I just needed to cook it some more