Monday, October 26, 2009

Perfect pumpkin

A few weeks back before the early season frost, I visited a local farm to get my hands on a few pie pumpkins. It's so much fun to bake with fresh pumpkin. Pies, breads and muffins turn out moist and a vivid orange color that you can't get from canned pumpkin.

It's so easy to roast a pumpkin; the hard part is actually finding a quality pumpkin. I've bought pie pumpkins at the grocery store that were moldy on the inside. And I've tried to grow pumpkins myself, but been unsuccessful. I just can't keep the squash bugs and vine borers off the pumpkins.

Besides, you can't help but feel good when you buy from a local farmer. It's a great sign of support for both the local economy and for Iowa agriculture in general.

It took a little elbow grease, but I sliced the pumpkin in half, then scraped out the seeds and the stringly pulp. Then I baked the pumpkin halves upside down on a foil-covered baking sheet at 375 degrees for over an hour. The roasted pumpkin came out perfectly tender.

I gave the pumpkin a spin in the food processor until it was smooth.

This pumpkin was so sweet, it tasted great without any sugar. I saved some to eat for lunch the next day.

I measured out 1 cup of pumpkin into freezer bags, dated the bags, then stacked them in the freezer for future use. It's such a great treat to make pumpkin bars in the middle of winter.

Of course, I didn't let those wonderful pumpkin seeds go to waste. I coated them in brown sugar and cinnamon and roasted them in a 250-degree oven for 50 minutes. They turned out sticky, but delicious. I've been snacking on them all day.

Can't wait to make homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!


  1. Looks very nice. I bought my first pie pumpkin this year. I was wondering how to prepare it. What do you look for when choosing one, any tips? Color, weight, skin, smell?

    Always love the seeds.

    Good idea to lable your bags in the freezer, I've learned my lesson the hard way (If you check out my white chili podt) lol!

  2. The farmer made sure to pick out smaller-sized pumpkins without any green on the rind. The pumpkin probably weighed less about 2 pounds each. Other than that, it's kind of a gamble. I've never roasted a pumpkin that turned out as sweet as these. Maybe it has something to do with the variety? I should send the farmer an e-mail and see what she planted this year. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Downtown Farmers Market TODAY!!! I'm to excited can you tell, lol! I love roasting my pumpkin seeds as well. Will have to give them a try with brown sugar and cinnamon, what a nice treat!


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