Fresh Pumpkin in Recipes

Some say that fresh is better than canned – I guess it depends on who you ask as there are pros and cons to using either.  Personally, I would always prefer fresh over canned.  Canned  products are convenient… I use to have a 40×80′ pumpkin patch where I grew a variety of pumpkins, but I usually used the smaller pumpkins for making pulp for pies and bread.

New Comment (12-21-12):  In Ina Garten’s new cookbook “Foolproof” (a favorite author and chef) she mentions that canned pumpkin is better to use in baking than puree coming from a fresh pumpkin – the pumpkins are different.  As I mentioned below I could not really taste any difference between fresh versus canned when I made bread.  There is a difference in color, however.

When I had a huge pumpkin patch I often used my own pumpkins for baking and cooking; the kids had plenty to choose from and besides losing a few to the deer I used the rest for their seeds and pulp.  I am just now trying the fresh pulp in recipes (did not take pictures or keep detailed instructions from 15 years ago).  So, you decide – the fun in having a garden is using all of that wonderful produce.

Anyways, now I  buy pie pumpkins from my local produce market.  Not as much fun as growing your own but a lot easier.

Pie pumpkins and Jack-be-Little now…               Lots of pumpkins way back when…

  • 1 medium pie pumpkin

Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds; remove all of the stringy pulp and save the seeds  for Pumpkin Crunch.  You need 1 cup of seeds and that is how many seeds are in each pie pumpkin.  How convenient!   The kids always enjoyed getting their hands all goey and digging out the seeds…

Pour a little water in a pie plate and place half of the pumpkin, pulp side down.  Cover loosely with saran wrap and microwave on high for 15 minutes or until tender.  Remove and cook the other half.  You get about 4 cups of pulp from each pie pumpkin, little more or a little less.

Cool and scoop out the pulp and mash; remove anything that will not mash, like any dark orange, stringy pulp.   For my Pumpkin Pie I need 1-1/2 cups pulp.

You can also bake a whole pumpkin on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until it can be easily pierced with a knife – probably  1-1/2 hours or more depending on the size of the pumpkin.  Or you can cut it in half and roast cut side down in a baking dish in an inch of water until tender.

I noticed I have not posted my  cookies recipe yet but I am sure I will do that this Fall.  I just finished making my Pumpkin Bread Using Fresh or Canned Pumpkin  showing the difference between using canned versus fresh.

Pumpkins were a favorite crop for the kids when we lived out in the country.

Decided to add my “pink pumpkins”.  On a trip to Chicago, one of the stores painted their pumpkins pink with glitter and all and were displayed in their store window.  Only Chicago…  Just had to do this when we got home.  Yes, Gene and I painted these together – we sure had fun!

2 thoughts on “Fresh Pumpkin in Recipes

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