How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin ♥

How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin
How to bake a whole pumpkin in the oven, the pros and cons both. Plus, new in 2011, why I've stopped roasting pumpkins and instead roast Kabocha Squash (pictured).

~recipe & photo updated 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

2007 ORIGINAL POST Talk about easy - just throw the pumpkin in the oven, whole, and once it's done roasting, then it slices open like butter - no more finagling with a knife, worry about losing a finger. But then, what to do? (While we're deciding, scoop out the pumpkin seeds to make Spicy Sweet Pumpkin Seeds.)

For awhile now, I've read/heard that "canned pumpkin is as good as fresh". Last year I roasted my first pumpkin -- what, you didn't know that? well, that's because the roasting process went fine but the flesh itself was so blah. And yes, I roasted a sugar pie pumpkin (and not a pumpkin for jack o'lanterns) which by all rights should be good.

This year, the roasting process again went fine and while I didn't do side-by-side comparisons, I can say that the flesh of this roasted pumpkin made one delicious pumpkin pie (later, my friends, later!) and pretty light-orange pancakes until the last bit turned into a pumpkin smoothie. Unfortunately I didn't save enough for Pumpkin Bread Pudding which my friend Ann served at our book club last week and ... yumm.

So I haven't decided yet whether canned pumpkin is better or not - just that last year I had no luck with roasted pumpkin and this year I'm more than pleased. What about you -- what's your experience?

UNFORTUNATELY, INCONSISTENT RESULTS WITH PUMPKINS
You know how you some times read that some pumpkins are watery and tasteless? Two out of the three 'good' baking/roasting pumpkins have turned out that way for me. After roasting, pureeing and draining, a smallish Sugar Pie Pumpkin (#3) yielded only 1 cup of (watery, tasteless) flesh but I was shocked to measure the liquid that emerged, well more than a cup. It needn't go to waste: just add it to a soup (as the liquid, not for flavor in a pumpkin soup, say).
In contrast, the large Hubbard squash shown behind the measuring cup yielded 6 cups of flesh and not a single tablespoon of liquid. THIS is what you want to use for dishes where real pumpkin flavor is called for.
How can you tell, before roasting? I don't know, yet, though will work on this idea. What I do recommend, however, is having a can of pumpkin puree in the pantry, just in case.

2011 UPDATE SO THIS IS WHY I NOW ROAST KABOCHA SQUASH INSTEAD OF PUMPKIN I continued to have hit 'n' miss results with roasting pumpkins. It wasn't the method, it was the pumpkins. Some yielded watery tasteless results, others were great. But the trouble was, there was no knowing in advance which ones going to turn out. UNTIL NOW. I've quit roasting pumpkins and instead use what's called a Kabocha Squash -- which is just fine since pumpkins are members of the squash family. Ever since, I get wonderful flavorful flesh, one time after another. Now that I use the "roast the whole pumpkin" technique on kabocha squash, now I make Homemade Kabocha Squash "Pumpkin" Purée all the time.

HELPFUL COMMENTS I also recommend reading the comments to this post -- lots of people have chimed in with suggestions and their own successful techniques.

WHOLE ROASTED PUMPKIN

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 60 - 90 minutes

1 kabocha squash (or 1 sugar pie pumpkin, or any pumpkin OTHER than one for Halloween jack o' lanterns)

Set oven to 400F. Wash pumpkin well, especially the blossom and stem ends. Rub skin lightly with olive oil. Do put a baking sheet lined with foil on the lower rack below the pumpkin to catch any juice that might squeeze out, then put the pumpkin directly on the rack above - no need to wait for the oven to preheat. Roast for 60 - 90 minutes. The actual time will vary based on the oven's actual temperature, the moistness of the pumpkin, the variety of pumpkin. But it's done when a knife slips into the flesh like butter. Let it cool a bit before slicing open - and even then, be careful when slicing open for the steam will rush out and could definitely burn. Scoop out the seeds (a grapefruit spoon works beautifully, then scrape the pumpkin off the skins. Refrigerate until ready to use.


KITCHEN NOTES
Straight from the oven, roasted pumpkin is more fibrous than the highly processed canned pumpkin. Be sure to put it through a food processor before using it for baking.
According to the great resource Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka, a two-pound sugar pie pumpkin will yield 2 cups of pumpkin purée and that is slightly less than what mine produced.


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FAVORITE PUMPKIN RECIPES
~ Pumpkin Corn Bread ~
~ Pumpkin Muffins ~
~ Thanksgiving Cake ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Autumn Pumpkin Bread ~
~ Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars ~
~ Pumpkin Bread Pudding ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

PUMPKIN DAY My favorite fellow vegetable lover is a young chap named Freddie, who's seven years old and lives in England with his big sister Alex and his dad and his mum -- she's the one who's in charge of their blog, The Great Big Vegetable Adventure and who organized a little P is for Pumpkin Party for today. Check out the pumpkin risotto Freddie rated 9 out of 10 (though maybe anything with bacon ought to be handicapped? Freddie gives high marks to everything with bacon -- oh right, just like the rest of us!!) and Spiced Pumpkin, Bacon and Mussel Conchiglie (wait! more bacon!) from Book the Cook and Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins from Hannah's Country Kitchen. (Update: I see that Figs Olives Wine also has Freddie's number! She's just posted Pumpkin Fennel Tian with Bacon & Black Olives -- note the bacon!)


Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes.
© Copyright 2007

47 comments:

I confess that I've been too lazy to roast pumpkin -- I just go to the market and buy a can of pumpkin puree. But reading about all of the great recipes you're making with the roasted pumpkin flesh, I have to mend my lazy ways!

it's impossible to buy canned pumpkin outside North America, so ALL of my pumpkin recipes come straight from the gourd! Though I prefer to cut the skin off, dice the flesh, and boil as it's just so much quicker than roasting...

What about the seeds after roasting a whole pumpkin? Can those be roasted again? Are they roasted enough?

My kids love the seeds, too, so that's why I usually risk a finger to cut the sugar pumpkin in half.

Lydia ~ Don't worry, canned pumpkin is one to keep in the 'perfect pantry', it's just that the fresh is something entirely different.

Melissa ~ Ah yes, that would force one to do it. I must be lazy for I find that cutting the skin off an uncooked pumpkin is just too hard! (Isn't it nice that pumpkins do both?!)

Sarabeth ~ I haven't roasted the seeds after roasting but my sense is that they're NOT roasted enough (not enough direct heat) and that they'd roast just fine. Great question --!

I'm seeing a taste test in my family's holiday future - and they don't even now it! A side by side comparison of pumpkin pies. Counting all the kids, there will be more than 20 of us. That's plenty for a "study." :)

I think I love Freddie also! And I love your bacon play! It is so bad it's so good.
Yes, I've roasted the seeds after roasting the pumpkin, they need more heat as you say.
I've had very good results with roasting pumpkins both in the regular oven and even in the microwave.

Deborah ~ Ah yes, a taste experiment. I have indeed done not side-by-side but day-after-day comparisons of both in pumpkin pies. The results will be featured in my Thanksgiving series beginning November 1.

I think I'm on the brink of saying fresh is better, IF...

If you roast (never boil!) the pumpkin, then, once the flesh is pureed, put it in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until it is reduced to half its original volume and lightly caramelized.

Why yes, that is rather a lot of work.

I suspect I will do that a few times during the fall then happily lapse back to buying canned pumpkin once fall is over and pumpkins become harder to find.

Ferdzy ~ You're onto something there, I think. Cook's Illustrated takes excess liquid out (though as I recall, from canned pumpkin) by creating flat pieces and putting between layers of paper towel.

But -- what I appreciate most about the fresh pumpkin is the delicacy of the flavor. I think our palates have been 'trained' to equate 'canned pumpkin flavor' with 'pumpkin flavor'. We may have forgotten what fresh pumpkin really tastes like. More on this, later!

I roasted the local organic sugar pie pumpkin that came in my vegetable delivery box this week and I have to say it was more flavorful than the canned variety. I roasted it whole before cutting it open to scoop the flesh. So far, I have eaten it plain with some spices, added it to my morning oatmeal, and plan a pumpkin rice pudding for tonight.

Alanna,
I have a whole pumpkin waiting downstairs to be cooked and I will try this out.
You are right - we have a bit of a bacon thing going on with this pumpkin fest.
But as you say - bacon is SO good.
Thank you so much for joining in with us. Freddie and pumpkins are becoming great pals.
Tell me - do you eat the pumpkin seeds whole or with the husk off?
Charlotte
x

Native ~ Pumpkin rice pudding? Oh man, the fresh-roasted pumpkin should be perfect for that.

You know what I'm thinking? Canned pumpkin has gotten us to thinking that 'pumpkin' always tastes the same. It is, after all, a commercial product that is SUPPOSED to be exactly the same, can after can.

But fresh pumpkin? It should vary! There will be duds and there will be desireds. Way back on Day 203, I roasted two butternut squash, one for supper, one for later. And I couldn't believe how different they were in appearance and taste.

Charlotte ~ Thank you for organizing the Pumpkin Party. Eating them whole vs hulled seems to be a matter of personal preference, you can check the tally on Spicy Sweet Pumpkin Seeds.

One year at the local pumpkin patch, the owner introduced us to a cornfield pumpkin that had very pale skin and vibrant orange flesh. I have never cooked any other than that, and they are large enough that I end up roasting 1/2 at a time. Each pumpkin will net about 12 cups of processed pumpkin.

I am afraid I have never done anything to it except scoop it out of the skin and put it in bags to freeze. We mash it with our hands a bit once it is in the bag, but have never puree'd or drained it. The flavor and texture is amazing in everything from smoothies (add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, mmm!) to hot cereal, soups, and the usual pies, breads and pancakes.

I don't usually cook more than one a year, but since I am more "vegetablating" these days, I might get a second one this year. We have already gone through a couple of packages and it isn't even the end of the month! I posted a bit about this on my blog: http://thoughtsfrommillermanor.blogspot.com/2007/10/pumpkin-time.html
Great blog! I enjoy reading all the informative posts and recipes!
TM

Pumpkins must be like melons -- hard to know if it's good until you taste it. Could there be any tricks to picking a good one? That is such a luscious photo! And I appreciate that you cooked it first: peeling them is exhausting -- and acorn squash are worse.

Wife/TM ~ That's some pumpkin! Thanks for the tips!!

Susan G ~ I just checked Vegetable Love (my "encyclopedia" of vegetables) and it has no particular tips. That's likely one of the reasons why canned pumpkin is popular: it's always the same.

Why have I never though to roast a whole pumpkin? So simple, yet so genius!

Alanna -- have you tried those pale, creamy-buff-colored pumpkins that they call "cheese pumpkins"? I'm wondering how they would work with this painless-seeming roasting technique...

I just bought two myself this week, so we'll see how this years patch of puree turns out shortly.

I like cutting them in half first because of the additional carmelization. However wrong I might be, my opinion is that it has done a lot for the final flavor.

I made pumpkin risotto last year with some of it, and it was spectacular.

Oh gosh, I'm going to sound like a one-track-mind commenter, but my favorite pumpkin recipe is also from Madhur Jaffrey. It's for a Greek pumpkin "pie" - think spinach pie, not dessert pie. It's in her World Vegetarian cookbook. It's a lot of work, but fabulous. I've never actually used pumpkin in it, but an orange kabocha instead! I don't know how kabocha compares to pumpkin, because I've never used fresh pumpkin, but they're both orange. :^) This year I got three different kabocha varieties from my CSA. I need to have a cook-off taste test I guess... but maybe the results won't reflect true differences in the varieties, but just the particular squash themselves? What a dilemma!

Did I read the nutrition info correctly? O fiber in the roasted pumpkin? That can't be right...fibrous=fiber :)

Julie ~ I haven't tried one but keep reading about them and so have an eye out. Thanks for the reminder!

Bill ~ I like carmelization too but like my fingers better!

Tricia ~ I have SO been watching for savory uses of fresh pumpkin and this sounds just great. Maybe an excuse to get the World Vegetarian Cookbook ...

SF Mom ~ I know, I don't like the nutrition either but I can't just make it up. But there's definitely fiber in there!

I roasted two small pumpkins, bought as 'sugar pie' pumpkins at Trader Joe's. One was very much like a jack-o-lantern pumpkin - thin layer of flesh, flesh pale and quite easy to cut; after roasting (I halved them and roasted them face down on a cookie sheet) there was not much puree (1 - 1.5 cup) and it was rather watery. The other had a thicker layer of flesh, was dark orange and smelled like a sweet potato, and was hard to cut. After roasting, I got 2+ cups of puree that was very thick and solid. Unfortunately, there was no visible difference from the outside! sigh. I've kept the two separated and will be making pie with them tomorrow (along with some jack-o-lantern puree from my sister). We'll see.

And the rest of what I was going to say - roasting them whole sounds neat, I'm going to try that next time. An About.com page suggests stabbing the pumpkin a couple times to allow the steam to vent before you roast it.

OK i am usually not compulsive like this...really!

But here is some alternative nut. info on pumpkin: http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/Pumpkins/nutrition.html


I wasnt saying I didn't LIKE the nutrition info--I was saying it must be wrong.If you agree there is fiber in pumpkin, then the info you have there is wrong.

Ah the tyranny of the nutrition "label." Now to roast me a pumpkin, even if it is January! I love this idea.

Hi (compulsive!!!) SF Mom ~ Thanks so much for the information. I'll add it to the site but for anyone who's interested, here's the link. Be sure to click through to the next page too, it's interesting, the comparisons between the USDA database and the Libby's label.

Hi there,

I was googling roast pumpkins to make sure I remembered how long to roast mine and discovered your article. When I roast mine, I use plain old fresh jack o lantern pumpkins because they're cheaper and just as good. I scoop out the seeds first, cut into large wedges and roast at 375 for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs till mushy. When they're all roasted, I puree them and cook the puree on low to get the extra water out. This seems to concentrate the flavors - otherwise it is runny. When this is done you can freeze it in batches for various recipes in the fall.

Have fun!

Hi Ann ~ What a great money-saving tip for pumpkins. What people object to with jack o lantern pumpkins is their wateriness -- but you've just cooked it out. Thanks for sharing!

I was really surprised at the initial post. I think real pumpkin is WAY better than canned. I first tried it when I found small sugar pumpkins with pumpkin pie recipe stickers on them. The pies were amazing. I thought it was the spices etc, but when I try it with canned it is not nearly as good. I would recomment cutting the pumpkin in half and removing the guts before baking it (this could be the reason the author found it so wet). Set them on a baking sheet and cover them with tin foil. Once they are cooked you, you can pick them up, turn them over and the flesh slides right out of the skin. No scooping needed.

For those of you afraid of chopping off fingers while cutting a pumpkin, Cooks Illustrated suggests putting the pumpkin on a wet towel for friction and then using a butcher's knife and mallet to cut through.

Alanna never fails! I got a big sugar pumpkin in my CSA box this week and didn't relish the idea of trying to chop it in half for roasting. I took the precautions of taking off the stem, stabbing the pumpkin a couple of times to make sure steam could escape and putting it on a foil coated baking sheet. I baked it almost 90 minutes, until my husband said, "Something is making noise in the kitchen." The pumpkin had released so much liquid it overflowed the(low)edge of the baking sheet. The skin was browning and it did indeed cut like butter. It was easy to clean out the innards and I was able to peel the skin off with my fingers. I little quick work with an immersion blender and I've got 6 cups of puree. Pretty slick, Alanna! Thanks again.

I would love to get hold of pumpkin in a tin, but, as you say, it's not available outside of North America - and I've never seen it in Australia - where I'm typing to you from :).

I roast pumpkin in two ways --
First, slice pumpkin into large chunks (say 2x2x2cm or 1 inch square at the smallest, or they shrink too much and then burn) then drizzle on olive oil and honey and roast in a low oven (170 deg C - not sure what that is in F) and check and toss every twenty minutes (add more honey if you want) - voila! - Honey Roasted Pumpkin - great in a salad with a honey mustard dressing.

Second, Jamie Oliver has a great stuffed pumpkin recipe in his book 'Happy Days with the Naked Chef', p226 - Hamilton Squash. My alternations
- use whatever mushrooms you have, chopped finely (I can't get dried porcini easily)
- don't use chilli (I like chilli, but I think here it detracts from the sweetness of the final dish)
- don't include the seeds as they don't cook properly and are still too hard at the end

Additionally, it's best to roast it the day before, put it in the fridge overnight then put it in a low oven for a couple of hours before serving - perfection!!

Now, to my question (yes, long post, and I apologise for the excessive use of brackets, but I'm using plain text!!) - can you slow roast a pumpkin in the oven overnight? It would be great to oil and foil the pumpkin, put it into the oven and then either turn it off after an hour and leave, or simply roast it very slowly all night - and the pumpkin is ready for the next stage of cooking when you wake up (in this case, pumpkin and fetta risotto for lunch). I'm not sure which would work, and was wondering if anyone else had experimented. Will report on my results as they come through :)

Would also be interesting to compare pumpkins - haven't heard of a sugar pumpkin). We have butternut, japanese, grey and queensland pumpkins generally, with gourmet ones coming through according to season.

Either way, I will definitely be roasting pumkin seeds tomorrow and thanks for reading this long, long comment :)

Hi Sam,

I learned a few years ago that what Australians call 'pumpkin', we call winter squash. They're related but not the same. But you'll find lots of winter squash recipes here.

I haven't tried slow-roasting overnight, however. Maybe you'll experiment and report in?

Hi! This is a great article. I have heard many many people say that the sugar pie pumpkins are really touch and go- every other one seems to be really watery and flavorless.
My parents raise pumpkins and they've introduced me to a variety called "Cinderella". It's very dark orange and kind of flat (actually there's one on the cover of the newest Martha Stewart). They are generally larger, so they make a lot more, but they are much more flavorful than the regular pie pumpkins and I've never heard of any of them having less than perfect flavor and consistency.
Also, another little tidbit is that canned pumpkin is not all pumpkin, but a variety of winter squashes. I'm not sure if that makes a difference, but once I tried the Cinderella pumpkins, I will never go back!!! Thanks for your article!

When my mom roasts squash (any thing from acorn to spaghetti) she always microwaves it for 10-15 minutes first. This softens the skin so that its easier to slice in half, without you losing a finger. I haven't tried it on a pumpkin yet but I imagine it would work.

I roast my pumpkins a little different - just a small change really but I think it improves the result. Cut the pumpkin in half first (yes, watch those fingers!!), scrape out the seeds, rub all over with a light oil, place face down on a baking sheet with sides that is lined with aluminum foil, and roast the 60-90 minutes at 400. I roast until the outside seems browned and crispy - and will peel off easy. I find this gives the pumpkin a roasted, nutty flavor without too much liquid being left in the pumpkin.

The variety helps with the end result. This year we grew early sweet sugar in our community garden plot and I am anxious to try it out!!!

If you're making pumpkin soup.. do you need to worry about the water content of the cooked pumpkin? I plan to roast a Cinderella pumpkin whole in the morning, then puree it and add to the soup. Will that make it too watery, should I cut in in half instead? Or cook out the water after roasting?

Hi Christmas Eve Girl! If it were me, I'd roast whole. Since you're likely adding liquid, chicken stock say, you really don't need to worry about cooking the pumpkin down unless you'd like to intensify the flavor. Merry Christmas!

Hi there, Finally getting around to roasting those little pie pumpkins I've had around for a while. It'll be interesting to see if they are "alright." Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post about this process as well as your thoughts on the comparison of canned vs. fresh. I have always used canned. Oh well, just wanted to say hello. I live in Columbia. Take care and Happy New Year - 2010
AmyRuth

You might find that you get better results if you split and seed the pumpkin before you roast it. The flavors in the meat of the pumpkin intensify as the water content is reduced; as long as the seeds are still in place and the pumpkin is whole, you can't remove much in the way of water from the fruit.

Good luck!

I'm trying this method out now because cutting things is hard work. :p

For a really dense, flavorful pumpkin I would pick from the maxima or moshata species. Sugar Pie is pepo like zucchini and most summer squash.

Don’t use a sugar pie pumpkin. I haven’t had any luck with those either. I had the same watery mess. I used a Cinderella pumpkin and slow roasted it for about 8 hours on 200. I wrapped it in foil (completely), put it in a roasting pan to catch the liquid. You use your hand – spread out to gauge about how much it makes. If it slightly larger than your hand it should make about 2 pies. I just made mine yesterday.

I CAN’T WAIT to try your pumpkin bread pudding. Never thought of that!

I am a longtime pumpkin-baker and have used every type of pumpkin with great success and taste. I: cut raw pumpkin in half. remove seeds and pulp - I use a cantaloupe scoop or sharp-edged spoon for this. I place each half cut-side down in a baking pan. (If the halves are very large, then in my roasting pan, or each half is placed right side up in a dish & cut side covered with foil.) Once tender and done, the pulp can be scooped very easily & sometimes the peel just pulls away. All the pulp is placed in a large pot (no need to oil or butter) and mashed somewhat and cooked on a medium to low flame to 'scorch' the cooked pumpkin and evaporate any remaining liquid..this caramelizes the pulp - turns its starches to sugar - and dries it out; when well-scorched it is drier, darker, and SO flavorful. Then puree or process and use your recipes. Canned pumpkin - no f'in way!

Thanks for your tips, I like the idea of cooking the pumpkin a bit to caramelize, that's my next pumpkin!

As for halving the pumpkin, I've done that but know that many people, especially older people with arthritis, struggle with cutting pumpkins and winter squash open. It's just so easy to throw it in whole ...

For the past 20 years I've been "roasting" my pumpkins on a big ole outdoor grill -- over applewood, pearwood, or cherrywood when I still lived East of the Mississippi, and over mesquite now that I live in the Southwest. One year I even used commercial charcoal briquettes -- nowhere near the wood-grilled taste, but still head-and-shoulders above oven-roasted.

Like black pepper in cornbread, grilling your pumpkin produces that "unidentifiable extra something" that will leave your friends and relatives begging you for the recipe. DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM -- lol!!! -- instead, explain only that you make your pumpkin whatever [pies, muffins, cheesecake] "from scratch."

Another word to the wise: NEVER buy premixed "pumpkin pie spice." Tinker with your own, preferably with whole fresh spices that you have to powder in a grinder. This makes as big a difference in the final flavor as fresh pumpkin vs. canned!

A good, low-investment way to try out spice blend proportions is to use your mix in coffee: 1 tsp per 12-cup perk of unflavored whole bean ground right then. Take your blend to work during the holiday extended winter holiday season (October-January) and become the office hero for spicing up, say, every third carafe...until they beg for more :)

Lovin' that pumpkin -- Spikeygrrl, currently in San Diego

I have never seen pumpkin in our stores that say what kind they are. I thought all pumpkins were created equal. I have to roast my pumpkin, I am afraid with my knives I would lose a limb. I am roasting a huge one the size of my oven now, in a turkey roaster bottom to catch the liquid.

I know this is an old post but...THANK YOU! Today I whole-baked the two sort of Weird Pumpkinny Things my CSA sent me (one, I learned from your page, appears to have been a Kabocha squash, and you're right, it's AMAZINGLY flavorful and lovely, and the other was some kind of orange pumpkin, just different in shape and texture from what we're used to). I also cut up a butternut squash into cubes and still have all my digits, also thanks to you. Delighted to have found you!
--Jenn

I was trying to find a site to verify the temps for roasting pumpkins and found this wonderful webpage.
I'll add my 2cents worth on how I roast them.

Heat oven to 400*.
Depending on the pumpkin (I had Big Max this year, but they didn't get huge.) Cut pumpkin in half.
Scoop out the seeds and membrane. You already have great tips on separating the seed for further use.

Line a cookie sheet (I use a commercial ½ sheet size) with heavy foil. Make sure it is long enough to bring some extra foil up on all sides to retain any juice.

Place pumpkin halves, cut side down and add a little water to the pan. Bake for 1 hour at 400*. If the skin is starting to bubble and turn brown after one hour but the pumpkin still isn’t soft enough for a fork to poke through easily turn oven down to 350* and continue to bake until soft.

Carefully pour liquid off into sink. Let pumpkin cool. After it’s cool, turn it over and scoop pumpkin into a bowl lined with a towel. (I use the flour sack towels I use when making cheese to drain the whey from the curd. ) I got mine from Lehman’s Amish Catalog.

Tie the pumpkin up in the towel and hang over the bowl to collect the liquid for an hour or so. Squeeze out any remaining excess liquid collecting it as well. No scorched pumpkin puree this way. (Save it to make pumpkin syrup- recipe follows)

Using a food processor or wand blender process until completely smooth. Use fresh or freeze in desired proportions for recipes later.

I use every part of the pumpkin. The seed can be roasted or in my case I use them in my worming formula for my goats, cattle, etc. Worms shrink at the sight of pumpkin seed :-) I find drying the seed on the same type of flour sack towel works best for me. They don’t stick and the towels don’t have any lint etc to get on the seeds. The skins go out to the chickens, and the liquid is made into syrup or added to soup stock etc. I came up with the syrup out of stupidity. I used the wrong screen on my Squeuzo food mill the first time I made fresh pumpkin and had gallons of liquid and a little bit of very dry pulp. The Irish/Scot background in me won’t let me waste anything.

Pumpkin Syrup
For each 4 cups of liquid add 3 cups of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Add a spice bag (I use cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ginger chunks, and allspice corns) Boil all together until the syrup cooks down to the desired thickness. remove the spice bag. (Note you can use less sugar if you like a lighter syrup)

Seal in jars while hot and water bath for 10 minutes. Great on pancakes, waffles, ice cream etc.

Thanks to everyone who posted their helpful tips.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna