Cutting and Cooking Pumpkin
The first step is to wash down the pumpkin and cut it into pieces small sufficient to in shape for your oven. Most pumpkins that weigh less than 10 pounds can truly be cut in 1/2, but with larger ones it is fine to cut them into several pieces.
The hardness of the rind varies with sorts, and some (which includes the ‘Jarrahdale’ pumpkin proven at the pinnacle of the page) are satisfactory approached by using tapping a stout knife or cleaver into the pumpkin with a hammer. Once the pumpkin is cut into or greater portions, I use a grapefruit spoon or small knife to do away with maximum of the seed cavity, which I set aside in a bucket. Don’t worry approximately getting all of the internal strings, with a view to come away without problems after the pumpkin is cooked.
Rinse off the pumpkin portions and place them cut facet down in a large baking pan with aspects tall enough to capture juices which are released as the pumpkin chefs. Bake in a 325°F (165°C) degree oven for an hour. When the pumpkin is completed, your house will smell like pumpkin, some sections of the pumpkin skin will show signs of fall apart, and there will be great juice within the backside of the pan. Allow to chill. To speed cooling, pour off the liquid that accumulates inside the pan.
Some pumpkins are drippier than others, and even types with very quality, full-flavored flesh can provide off huge amounts of water when they prepare dinner. If the cooked flesh could be very moist when you scrape it from the rind, place it in a strainer for 20 minutes or so that you could drip out greater of the juice.
With that done, you have three high-quality options for retaining your pumpkin harvest: drying the seeds, freezing the flesh, and making pumpkin jerky.
Drying pumpkin seeds
- Drying Pumpkin Seeds
The seeds of all pumpkins have suitable for eating nuts inside, which can be fed to wild birds (or chickens) in case you don’t care to consume them yourself. The first step in drying pumpkin seeds is to paintings thru the slimy seeds by using hand to put off the bigger portions of pumpkin flesh. Cover with lukewarm water and sleek to loosen greater flesh. Use a strainer to lift the floating seeds right into a easy bowl. Wash with extra smooth water, then rinse through a colander. Don’t worry if there are still a few tiny portions of orange flesh connected to the seeds. I find that once washing them, drying pumpkin seeds on a easy cotton towel results in an awful lot of the dried flesh sticking to the towel when the seeds are moved to a dry plate a few hours later. At normal indoor temperatures, pumpkin seeds are dry sufficient to shop after about every week. Nicely dried pumpkin seeds break instead of bend whilst folded in half of.
Pumpkin puree in freezer luggage ready for freezing
- Freezing Pumpkin
Back to our cooked pumpkin. Most recipes call for pumpkin puree, that is without problems saved inside the freezer. You can use a food processor to turn cooked pumpkin into puree, but I discover that an immersion blender works brilliant for this venture, and it is a great deal less difficult to clean. Most human beings freeze pumpkin puree in plastic freezer luggage, in recipe-length portions, which stack neatly in case you freeze them on a flat pan. Use a silicone muffin pan or ice dice tray to freeze pumpkin puree in smaller amounts.
Pumpkin jerky or fruit leather-based
- Dehydrating Pumpkin
Pumpkin butter is another storage option, but after a great deal dabbling within the first-rate methods to hold pumpkin, I have discovered that dehydrating pumpkin puree into pumpkin “jerky” or fruit leather is a splendid way to go. You season pumpkin puree as in case you had been creating a pie, the usage of a touch brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Use a mild hand, due to the fact the flavors turns into focused as the jerky dries. Spread on silicone sheets in a meals dehydrator, and dry at a completely warmth (135°F/fifty seven°C) for several hours. The pieces will carry off without problems whilst dry. Dehydrated pumpkin leather-based looks like jerky whilst you tear it into pieces, or you may reduce it into strips and roll them up like fruit rolls. Either manner, assume it to flavor like a chewy model of pumpkin pie.