Canned pumpkin isn’t available in Poland, so cooking with pumpkin is a very seasonal. I want to say everyone is roasting pumpkins this time of year; it seems that way among the American cooks anyway. We returned home with a pumpkin from the market Friday evening, to see on facebook that my friend Rhonda was “baking pumpkin and roasting seeds” just a few buildings away.
I have always been a fan of Barbara Kingsolver’s fiction; a couple of years ago, I read her non-fiction work, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. The book recounts her family’s year long experiment to only eat what was raised locally. I remember her lamenting in the book that every autumn when the local cooking columnist published pumpkin recipes, they always called for a can of pumpkin – never a fresh cooked pumpkin. This, my first attempt at pumpkin roasting, is for you Barbara.
We picked out a small pumpkin, just 7 or 8 inches in diameter. I cooked it just like I do acorn squash. Everything I’ve read suggest that small pumpkins are best for cooking. When you combine that with the fact that we walk home carrying our groceries, it was an easy decision.
I sliced it in half.
I scooped out the seeds and slimy strings from the center.
I had every good intention of using the seeds – relishing the idea of apply the nose-to-tail philosophy to this gourd-like squash. But I like pumpkin seeds hulled and the two methods I found online seemed like too much work!
I lined a baking sheet with foil, for easy clean-up, and placed the pumpkin on the foil, cut-side down. I baked it at 350 F or 175 C for about an hour, until a fork is easily inserted.
Let the pumpkin cool and then scrape out of the shell.
I pureed it in three batches with my immersion blender. You could also do this with a regular blender or food processor. Our small pumpkin made 5 cups of pureed pumpkin – more than enough for two pies. I’ll be making family favorite pumpkin log, and trying out pumpkin soup, maybe even a pumpkin spice latte!