Cooking Pumpkin for Pie

October 08, 2017
We have two kidlets, and we've always tried to shelter from the spotlight because.. I'm not really sure! I suppose because they aren't really old enough to make that decision on their own yet and I'm terrified of being a 'bad mom' (aren't we all, though?). I will refer to them as S and J. This story is about the younger of the two, which is J.

When we started picking out seeds for our very first vegetable garden, J grabbed a package of pumpkin seeds and proclaimed he wanted to grow 'huge' pumpkins in our garden. I didn't know much about growing pumpkins but I did know they took up a lot of room and they were prolific. Terrified there wouldn't be any room left to grow, we agreed he could grow pie pumpkins so we could actually eat them!

At the end of the season we harvested 6 pie pumpkins! 3 we kept for Halloween and the others, we baked for pie and roasted the most delicious pumpkin seeds! Even Lobo II was able to enjoy the fleshy stringy part of the pie as he eats homemade raw dog food.

Pie pumpkins are small pumpkins that are sweeter making them great for pies, breads or even a pumpkin cheesecake. Are you drooling yet? You can still roast the seeds inside these small pumpkins but if you are looking to make pie, be sure it is in fact a 'pie pumpkin' and that it has cured for at least two weeks since it was picked.

To cook a pie pumpkin for pie, I slice off the top of the pumpkin where the stem is because we don't need that part and it makes a nice flat spot for cutting the pumpkin in half.

Once the stem is removed, place the flat spot on your cutting board and carefully cut the pumpkin in half. This was really tough, and my husband felt the need to take the big knife away from me and do it himself (thanks honey!) to ensure I didn't loose a finger.

Next, using a spoon I scooped out the stringy pulp and seeds which I sorted and either fed to the dog or roasted for use humans. To cook the pumpkin, I placed them round side up on a handy zero waste silicone sheet (you could use parchment paper) and baked them at 350F for an hour. I cooked three pie pumpkins, or six halves, on one cookie sheet.

After the pumpkins have cooled, remove the skin and it is ready to use! Since I wasn't cooking pie the same day, I put my pumpkin in the freezer.

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