My 2 1/2 year old nephew, Lincoln, went to a “punkin” patch for the first time yesterday.
He rode the John Deer trikes and asked to drive every tractor at the farm. He sat in the wooden farm truck and tossed the decorative pumpkins in the back. He petted goats and a miniature horse. He jumped in every mud puddle. He enjoyed a cider donut and part of a caramel apple. He got his face painted with Iron Man (his “favorite color”). He took a hay ride to the pumpkin patch. He dropped several pumpkins after they were determined to be “too dirty”. He finally selected a very small pumpkin that he could carry under his arm like a football. He stuck his tongue under the recycled muddy water at the pumpkin washing station. He had an awesome time! His mom and I were exhausted.
After a long nap, I came home with my own Halloween pumpkin and 4 sugar pie pumpkins.
Sugar Pie Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin butter seemed like a delicious addition to Aunt Becky’s fruit butter offerings. Sometimes, an idea for a product comes along that won’t work. In order to make a product that is shelf-stable, there needs to be a certain amount of natural or added acid (e.g., lemon juice). Unfortunately, pumpkins don’t have the required level. Even with a pressure canner, pumpkin butter may not be safe for canning.
Just because I can’t make it to share, doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. This weekend, we’re getting the first big fall storm in the Pacific Northwest. Today is a perfect day for making pumpkin puree. And it’s so easy! Sugar pie pumpkins are available at farms all over. They are usually already rinsed and ready for sale, so you won’t have to slog through a muddy field to pick one. Mine were $2 each, a steal!
- 1 sugar pie pumpkin = (at least) 2 cups of pumpkin puree = 1 pumpkin pie
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut pumpkins in half from top to bottom. The rind can be tough, so be careful. I gently inserted the tip of a butcher knife in the rind. After making an indent, I remove the tip and inserted the middle of my knife blade into the indent. Then I gently rocked the knife back and forth to slice through the pumpkin.
- Scrape the seeds and pulp out of the middle, setting aside in a bowl if you want to roast the pumpkin seeds later
- Lay the pumpkin halves face down in a baking pan (a 9×13 pan works great for one pumpkin)
- Add 1 cup of water
- Bake for 1 hour
- Drain water and cool
- Scrape pumpkin into bowl and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth
- Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 1 week, or transfer to a freezer safe container for up to 1 year
- Pint size glass jars are perfect for freezing pumpkin puree, just leave 1/2 inch space at the top
- Hint: when filling containers, gently tap container to remove air bubbles. Pounding the container on the counter without a lid causes warm pumpkin puree to splash all over your glasses (or so I hear).
The uses for pumpkin puree are endless…
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin bread
- Pumpkin Chai Latte