Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Art of Using Fresh Pumpkin To Bake

MMMMMMM it's pumpkin season again and I am in LOVE with pumpkins. So far I've made pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup and now this yummy pumpkin cheesecake! It's a fairly easy recipe for such an elegant looking pie! For the complete recipe go here and check it out! I always use brown sugar even when it calls for white sugar in all pumpkin recipes because it tastes much better that way. When I'm feeling a bit wild I'll add some maple syrup to the mix too! And maybe some Trader Joe's Tahitian Vanilla extract-yum! (Betty doesn't know everything!)
For a series of pictures to inspire your baking, continue reading :) 
First, take a trip to the pumpkin patch and pick out some pumpkins. Some say there are special "baking pumpkins" you can look for but Aiden says that they are all the same to him! (He picks the best ones!) 
Next, set your baby in his highchair with a snack and a special movie on TV so you can uninterruptedly begin carving up this ginormous vegetable. Make sure to warm up your muscles with a few jumping jacks beforehand, this carving business is a lot of work! Whew! I always feel a little guilty just throwing away the rinds of the pumpkin. If I had a hog out back, I'd throw it to him. If my husband didn't shut down my composting station in the backyard, it would have gone there. (We need an actual composting bin from Lowe's, the flies and smell were too nasty for this prissy little city neighborhood) If we could recycle them, I so would. But since we have none of the above, (for now) I just toss them in the trash. Sigh. Oh well. 
Now, after you've carved up and baked the pumpkin at 350 for about an hour and a half, scrape out the mushy pumpkin straight into the blender to make your puree. I add a bit of salt to the puree to help preserve it when I freeze large amounts and for the jar that remains in the 'fridge too. 
Yummy homemade pumpkin puree! Now you can truly ditch the canned stuff that's most likely been sitting on the grocery shelf for A YEAR! GROSS! YOU really gonna EAT THAT!!!????? This will taste so much better, just you wait and see! And no, not just because you used up an hour and a half of your life preparing this pumpkin mush, but because it really does taste more like, well pumpkin and not whatever they add to the canned stuff to make it last years on the shelf. YEARS...(Just breathe that in for a second)
Oh and don't forget to take your kid down from the highchair when you've put up that big carving knife. He wants to play with his cars. 


  1. I bought an albino pumpkin this year (the white ones), for puree. Maggie loved it - it's sweeter than traditional pumpkin. I'm going to try the rest of the puree in pumpkin bars tomorrow

  2. ooooh really! Sweeter?! I am so trying that! Thanks for the tip!!!