So I mentioned in my last post that I bought a pumpkin…. it was the first day of fall, what was I supposed to do?! The grocery store has been teasing me with pumpkins for the last two weeks and I finally caved.
Also, this is one of those things where I know I’m turning into my parents (you know that insurance commercial? Yea, it’s a little bit like that). On any given fall weekend, my dad would be cooking down a pumpkin, baking bread, and likely making applesauce or chili all in the same day like it is nothing. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to cook down a pumpkin before, but here we are!
It’s incredibly easy and I promise anyone can do it. There are several ways to do this, but I chose the boiling method:
Before you start: make sure you buy a pie pumpkin! Do not buy a large carving pumpkin, as those are too tough and stringy for cooking and baking. Smaller is better too, so choose a small – medium sized pie pumpkin for your cooking.
- Set a pot of water to boil.
- Remove the stem and cut the pumpkin in half. You really can’t go wrong here, so have at it however you like. I cut mine like the picture below.
- Scoop out the seeds and strings. Keep the seeds if you like, and discard the strings. I kept my seeds and will share those in a future post!
- Cut the pumpkin into manageable chunks so you can peel and then cube them
- Boil the pumpkin for approximately 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain and then mash or puree the pumpkin. I used a hand-held immersion blender, and then put the mash into my full size blender to make it even smoother. If you’re going for a supremely smooth pumpkin puree, you can also strain it after this step.
- CRUCIAL STEP: The directions I was following left this one out (let me just say, my pumpkin made limp **** waffles. Gross.) but my Dad filled me in after the fact. You need to drain the pumpkin to remove some of the water. The pumpkin is very watery naturally and will add too much liquid to your recipes. Line a strainer with a kitchen towel and fill with the pumpkin. You can either squeeze out the liquid or let it sit and drain naturally. You don’t want this to be completely dried out, but remove enough water that the pumpkin stands on its own (sort of how egg whites stand) rather than pooling out in a bowl.
I can’t say enough how easy this was and it is soooo tasty and honestly so sweet! I didn’t know to drain the pumpkin and used too-watery pumpkin to make waffles that were so limp, I called Dad for the fix!
The medium sized pumpkin that I cooked down resulted in about 4 cups of puree. Granted, this was without draining, so I imagine that after draining, this would probably be more towards 3 cups. I used some immediately (said waffle fail) and then divided the rest into 1 cup baggies for the freezer!
Easy as pie 🙂 and there might be some in our future! Happy start of fall!