The fine young gents and I played "What's that squash?" in the garden yesterday. Remember when I posted about the mystery of the squash? Half the seeds I'd planted were eaten by some night critter, and I wasn't quite sure what was left. The turban squash was hiding in the lemon balm. Looks like an "assorted squash" came up. What a lovely surprise.
I was puttering in the garden yesterday, starting the fall garden cleanup. I accidentally broke a vine that had a pumpkin still attached, so I just picked the pumpkin to store in the garage.
"Look!" I said to the gents on my way to the garage. "A pumpkin from our garden!"
Two minutes later, while I was picking through the beans looking for dried pods...."Look, Mom! I found another pumpkin! Can we have a pie?" Fine young gent was as proud as, well, proud as pie that he'd found and picked a pumpkin for me.
*Sigh* "Thank you, sweetheart. Let's leave the rest to ripen, though."
I made pumpkin pie for my little guy.
How to get from pie pumpkin to pumpkin puree: Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Halve your pumpkin(s) and take out the seeds and slimy bits. Set the seeds aside for roasting later. Brush the cut edges of the pumpkin with a bit of oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet with the cut side down. Bake for about 40 minutes (for small pumpkins) to 1 hour (for larger). When done the flesh of the pumpkin should be soft when pierced with a fork, and the outer shell should be pulling away from the flesh. Let cool until you can handle it without burning yourself, then peel the shell off of the pumpkin. Puree the pumpkin flesh in the food processor.
Using your puree: You can serve the puree as is with a little butter and brown sugar, as though it's mashed/pureed squash (because it is). If you would like to use your puree in your favorite recipes for pie, scones (my favorite!) or pumpkin bread, let it sit to cool in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight, if you can. Some of the liquid will separate from the puree, allowing you to skim it away so that your puree is just a bit thicker. (Note: I did not do this tonight and my pie is just fine. But still, it's a good idea.) I also cut back on the liquids in the recipe just a tad if I can to compensate for the fact that it's not that thick can-shaped glob of pumpkin I'd have gotten at the grocery store. (Oops! My pumpkin snobbery is showing! Don't blame me, I've been spoiled by my garden!)