I love fall. Partly because my birthday is coming up this week and partly because I love the change in the air, leaves, and food.
Usually every October, I buy a couple large pumpkins and make enough roasted pumpkin and pumpkin butter to last through the fall and winter. I use it a lot and give it away to friends and family too!
You don’t have to can it, but I do…you could just as easily freeze it in quart sized freezer bags for when you need it. This week I will focus on how to make these, a recipe to use your new pumpkin butter, Halloween tradition carnival, and my family’s favorite Halloween meal. So grab, some pumpkins and let’s get started….
pumpkin (mine was slightly bigger than a basketball)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash pumpkin, carefully cut in half. Scoop out all the stringy insides (saving the seeds in a separate bowl and discarding the rest). Cut pumpkin into quarters, place cut side down on to baking sheets. Bake for about 1 hour (this really depends on the size of your pumpkin).
When you can pierce it with a fork or knife easily, then remove it from the oven. Cool slightly. You should be able to easily remove the outer skin/peel now. Once the peel is removed, chop into large chunks and puree in a food processor (or with an immersion blender or even a potato masher). Once you reach your desired consistency, then you can bag for freezing or can it (I can mine, so I put it in my slow cooker to keep it hot while my canning jars are prepped). Tip: Freeze/Can in amounts that you would normally buy pre-canned from the store (16oz, 32 oz, etc)…It will make using it much easier.
Use this in place of canned pumpkin in any of your recipes that call for plain ol’ canned pumpkin (aka most recipes involving pumpkin).
I will walk you through the pumpkin butter tomorrow. I make both at the same time…I figure, why dirty up the kitchen twice when there is really only one additional step to my pumpkin butter recipe. If you think you might want to make both, go get your pumpkins today and then wait til tomorrow.
**Apparently the USDA has changed their minds and says it is unsafe to can pumpkin. Use your own judgment if you decide to do it. I have been doing it for years and I will probably continue to do it…just wanted to give you all the info.**