It’s finally fall, and that means I get to indulge in one of my favorite flavors for at least two full months. Welcome back pumpkin, I’ve missed you so!! Whether it’s pumpkin soup, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, or a pumpkin cheesecake you can’t go wrong. You can purchase canned pumpkin to start, as many people do, but if you want to begin from scratch these simple instructions will get you going.
- Pick out a sugar pie pumpkin. These are a small, sweeter type of pumpkin than the one you carve, and a four pound sugar pie pumpkin should yield around a cup and a half of pumpkin puree.
- After slicing the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds and strings. If you want to make pumpkin seeds, set the seeds aside to clean.
- Put the pumpkin halves face down in a roasting pan with one cup of water.
- Bake the pumpkin at 375 for about 90 minutes or until tender.
- Scoop out the insides and puree in a blender or food processor.
Now that you’ve got pumpkin puree, what do you want to do with it?
Here’s how you turn this into a pie:
- Combine ¾ cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ tsp of ground ginger, ½ tsp of ground cloves, and stir. Beat 2 eggs in a large bowl and stir.
- Add 1.75 cups of pumpkin puree, the spice mixture, and then eventually a can of evaporated milk into the eggs and stir. Pour into a pie shell.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-50 minutes and cool for at least two hours before serving. Keep pie refrigerated.
And here’s a dinner option, Thai pumpkin soup:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 2 small fresh red chili peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass
- 2 1/8 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai basil if you can find it
- Heat oil and butter in a saucepan. Cook the garlic, shallots, chili peppers, and lemon grass. Stir in chicken stock, coconut milk, and diced pumpkin. Cook until the pumpkin softens.
- Once the pumpkin is fully softened, place the mixture in a blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth.
- Top with basil leaves and serve