Since a reader asked here is a quick version of Fresh Pumpkin Processing!
In case you don’t know, pumpkin doesn’t grow in can and it feels so wrong to admit to that. I grew up eating Libby’s Pumpkin. It was the ONLY pumpkin mom ever bought. It was the best and for pumpkin pie, you had to have the best.
That all changed two years ago when Jo at Miller Farms Market introduced me to fresh pumpkin and how to process it. (THANK YOU, Jo!)
Here are my two current favorite pumpkins … Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and the Peanut Pumpkin …
I have pictures I took that are a step by step process for how to make your own fresh pumpkin that post will take me hours to write. I don’t have hours so here is the quick version.
1. Cut your pumpkin in half (vertical half not horizontal half!)
2. Clean out the seed and strings. (Save the seeds if you have time to roast them.)
3. Place the pumpkin cut side down on a cookie sheet in an oven set 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (This is an average time so might be more or less … you want a fork to go in easily … like a baked potato!)
4. Place a colander over a deep mixing bowl. Lay cheese cloth (you can find at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond) in the bowl (I use two layers.)
5. Let the pumpkin cool for AT LEAST an hour and use your hands to scoop the flesh into the bowl you set-up!
6. Let sit for 3-4 hours to drain.
7. Process the pumpkin in a food mill to get the stringy part out of the pulp.
8. Place it back on the rinsed out cheese cloth for another 3-4 hours to drain.
9. Use a dry measuring cup to measure out 2 cups of pumpkin and put into FREEZER ziploc bags. (most recipes call for 2 cups of pumpkins because that is what is in a can!) Lay flat and freeze OR use in 2-3 days.
So if you don’t have all day to do this, you can do what I had to do this time which was go through step 5 and put the bowl in the fridge overnight. The next evening take the bowl out of the fridge about 2 hours before you can process it. Food mill the pumpkin and then put it back in the fridge overnight.
It might seem like a lot but it really isn’t that much effort as most of it inactive time. Plus your pumpkin pie or cheesecake will never be the same.
I will get Brian to post his pumpkin cheesecake recipe before Thanksgiving. I make the pumpkin … he makes the cheesecake!
What do you think? Are you ready to head out to get a fresh pumpkin? You have time! Go knock the socks off every this Thanksgiving!