Today I want to share with you a little secret.
Come close. Closer. Are you listening?
Okay. Here it goes... Canned pumpkin comes from a real pumpkin.
Oh yes, that's right.
A real, orange, sweet little, carotene-giving, thanksgiving-tradition pumpkin. Specifically, these pumpkins are called sugar pumpkins (or sugar pie pumpkins) and are considerably smaller than the decorative ones we purchase for creating jack-o-lanterns. The flesh of the decorative jack-o-lantern pumpkin (also known as a field pumpkin) consists of tasteless, dry flesh and loads of seeds and string.
Doesn't sound too appetizing as the main ingredient for Thanksgiving's #1 recipe, pumpkin pie, huh?
Sugar pumpkins however [there are even more varieties in some grocery store produce sections - all can be made by following these same instructions], have a sweet thick flesh with fewer seeds and strings and are perfect for use by the at-home cook.
Now don't get me wrong, I love canned pumpkin just as much as the next home cook [good 'ole Libby's is my fav!]. We use canned pumpkin for all sorts of kitchen goodies like breakfast oatmeal, pumpkin bread and others.
But, I do enjoy working with produce and I also enjoy learning new techniques in the kitchen. Roasting a sugar pumpkin fits the bill!
You guys. It is So. Easy.
You'll never go back to canned pumpkin again. Unless you're craving Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Spice Bread in June.
sugar pumpkin purEE
1 sugar pumpkin, approximately 2-3 lbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the stem off of the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin into two halves.
Using a metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and strings from each half.
Brush or spray the inside with olive oil and place the pumpkins, open side down, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Roast in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes or until a fork can be easily poked through the skin,
Allow the pumpkin to cool for 15 minutes. Scoop the soft flesh from each half and place in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy.
Homemade sugar pumpkin puree is still not as some may like. If desired, add in a small amount of granulated sugar to sweeten the deal.
Pumpkin Recipe Roundup
from some of my favorite blogs and recipe databases
1. Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Spice Bread (an Everyday Enthusiastic fav!)
2. Pumpkin Lasagna with Ricotta and Swiss Chard by Food and Wine
3. Pumpkin Waffles by Smitten Kitchen
4. Overnight Pumpkin Butter by A Beautiful Mess
5. Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Risotto by Giada De Laurentiis
6. Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots and Sage by Martha Stewart
7. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by Love & Olive Oil
8. Pumpkin Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies by Joy the Baker
"I'm more than just a pie!" screams the pumpkin.
Right you are, my friend; right you are.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!
All ideas in this post are of my own opinions including mention of companies and/or affiliate sites. No sponsorships were involved in the creation of this post. Photographs taken by Meredith Wheeler using a DSLR Canon Rebel T3 and edited using iPhoto.