how to cook fresh PUMPKIN!!

WARNING! Lots of

ORANGE ahead.

look what I noticed on the Dogfishhead Punkin Ale box..

*giggle* no wonder I love it so!


Pumpkin.

Pumpkin.

Pumpkin.

I just love me some pumpkin.  Is there anything else that says FALL like pumpkin?

I was traumatized by the terrible pumpkin shortage of ’09 .

( I still have a can that I was able to get last year & hoarded in the event that pumpkin was scarce again this year.)

just.

in.

case.

But I am proud to day that I have 6  pumpkins right in my very own kitchen 🙂

I have researched the best way to cook pumpkins so that they are recipe-ready and this is what I came up with..

Start by halving your pumpkin & scooping out the seeds.

WHOA! did someone say seeds? Oh yes, that was me. How could I have forgot about the magic that is the pumpkin seed?

Place those seeds in a bowl & set them off to the side.. we’ll get to those in a minute.

Remove as much of the stringy part or the pumpkin as possible, then place your pumpkin cut side down in a baking dish & add about 1/2 cup water.

place in a preheated 450 degree oven & bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a knife inserts easily into the skin

allow to cool a bit

then you can either spoon it out of the skin

or, if it the skin has blistered a bit, peel the skin from the flesh

you could probably cook with it just like this, but I felt the need ( for no particular reason other than the spirit moved me ) to use my handy-dandy immersion blender to make it smoother

can you say ‘pumpkinny goodness’?

I cooked 2 batches yesterday. one to make Jessica\’s Double Decker Pumpkin Bread

escuse me while I wipe the drool..

and one batch for the freezer.  For Christmas. For Jason. and Amanda.

Now, onto those pumpkin seeds..

Start by separating as much flesh from thew seeds as possible. ( I put the seeds in a large bowl of col water and massaged them.. it helps free the seeds.) then rinse & drain in a colander & spread on a cookie sheet overnight.

( or, your could use a blowdryer or a very low oven if you simply can’t wait)

preheat oven to 300 degrees and melt about a tablespoon of butter; toss seeds with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt & melted butter

spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or waxed paper.

(this not only makes clean-up easy, but by lifting the foil & starting to fold in half, it makes it easier to remove the seeds from the pan to whatever you will be storing them in)

I’m speechless.

a is for apple

b is for butter.

Put them together & you have

apple butter !

Actually, apple butter does not contain any butter.  I also have never tried it.

so what would possess me to attempt to make it?

The fact that we went apple picking this past weekend.

I thought this apple was a little bit funny 🙂

there was not any cider-making going on. Somehow the soda can in front of the apple press seems so wrong…..

We have gone to the same orchard for years…  Jason, Scott & Ali..

Jason, skinny michelle & baby Ry….

this is the first time that  there wasn’t any cider.  I’m not sure if it’s a sign of the recession, or if we were just too early ..

we were sad 😦

So.. back to the apple butter


I decided to make it mostly because  everyone expected me to bake a pie.

I’m a rebel 😉

Also, I’ve been on a canning kick, ( never too soon to think about the upcoming gift-giving season) so when I found a recipe that someone had commented that the canned it.. I was all in!

All Day Apple Butter

I made a slight change to the recipe ( don’t I always?) I don’t like things overly sweet, so I cut the sugar down to 1 cup & added 1 1/2 cup brown sugar.

first  I peeled the apples

then I  inserted my super-cool new corer into the center.

why is so super-cool?

because when you pull out the core, you press the lever & the core pops right out!

cool, eh?

ya know you want one 😉

chop up dem apples

mix them all up with the spices & sugars..

and cook.

and cook.

and enjoy how wonderful your house smells

♬♬♬♬ all. day. long.♬♬♬♬♬

The apples did break down over time, but I found that I  had to use my trusty immersion blender to get the smooth texture that I was looking for.

oh.

yeah.


I canned most of the apple butter ( I had to save some for us to have on the chilly fall mornings..)

this was a great recipe !

on a funny note.. here is a shot that I took trying to feature the butter all processed

can you tell that we skipped mowing the lawn in favor of apple picking?


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