Once again, I’ve been a bit AWOL here and I apologize. Montana has been treating us well, and as always, life has been keeping us busy. My husband just finished his first semester of law school, and Habitat Floral Studio has been busy with holiday centerpieces and parties as we continue into the New Year.
Even though life can get busy, there are certain things that are worth the time and effort. Like exercising or sleeping or brushing your teeth, if you are going to make pumpkin pie or muffins or pancakes, use fresh sugar pumpkin. Just do it. I always kind of liked pumpkin pie, but wow; the difference that fresh pumpkin makes is astronomical. The natural sugars that exist in these little guys keep a pie from tasting like it was squash-made-into-a-dessert, and because it’s fresh, it’s much more mild overall.
The hardest part about this whole process is probably cutting the pumpkins in the first place. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the pumpkins from top to bottom by inserting the tip of the knife first to create an incision, then cut by pressing down slowly on a steady cutting board.
Scrape out the seeds and innards and place cut side down on an edged baking tray. Pour about 3/4 cup water into the bottom of the tray to provide some steam when it bakes.
Bake at 300* for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until soft and steamy. I’d say to err on the side of overcooked as opposed to under; if it’s still hard in spots, it will be tough to get a smooth blend, and as long as there is still some moisture in the pan, it shouldn’t burn. Scrape the pumpkin meat out the skins and place into a food processor and blend until smooth.
If you are making pumpkin pie, I would highly recommend pouring the pumpkin filling (after it’s mixed with cream and eggs etc) through a strainer or cheesecloth into the pie crust to keep it smooth.
Use within several days, or freeze until you are ready to use.