Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using the Harvest:: Roasting a Pumpkin


You might remember I got a really cool meat cleaver for Christmas.  Well, I got my first opportunity to see it in action yesterday.  The deputy (my fiance) has been complaining about all the pumpkins sitting around in the living room.  I guess he thinks they will rot or something, and leave a mark on the carpet.  Pshaw....I said.  (Really! Well, at least a sound that means that).  I check them a lot, and I didn't think they would rot anytime soon. After all, they didn't ripen for a few months after I brought them inside in early November.  The pumpkins I am referring to are called Musque De Provence, or Fairytale pumpkins.

Here are some links with pictures and descriptions:
Seed Savers Exchange  (called muscade de provence here)
HighMowing Seeds

Evidently, they have a very long shelf life, which I can attest to...Mine were still mostly green when I brought them in. I was kind of worried about that, because most things, if it isn't ripe when you pick it, it isn't going to get much better.  This pumpkin cures after you bring it in though.  Over the months, through November, December, January, it slowly turned to a deep dusty orange.

Since the deputy was complaining, I decided to make one of these pumpkins into puree.  I started by using a sharp chef's knife, and I cut out the stem.  Then I used my cleaver and a mallet, and gently tapped my way through the middle.  The cleaver actually went right through like butter.

I was really impressed by the beautiful deep orange color of the flesh.  The size was impressive too.  This pumpkin weighed in at 23 lbs.

My son helped by scooping out the seeds.  He was adamant that he be allowed to do this.

The pumpkin halves were huge.  I sprinkled each half with salt to help draw out the moisture.  I turned them face down on a tray covered with parchment paper.

I let the pumpkins roast at 425 degrees for about an hour and a half.  I bumped it down to 400 degrees at about an hour through, so the outside wouldn't burn.  With a smaller pumpkin you can roast much little as 45 minutes.  I let it stay in until I could poke it with a knife and it went in like butter. Then I let it cool for a really long wouldn't believe how hot the pumpkin is on the inside. 

When it was finally cooled off enough to handle (barely), I peeled off the skin.  All the flesh went into my food processor with a little bit of water to make it smooth.  Then I put it into these freezer containers.  My 23 lb pumpkin turned into 4 1/2 quarts of pumpkin puree.  It all went into my deep freeze for the time being.

Now, I am ready to make pumpkin bread, muffins, pie, soup, or all of the above.  I don't have to buy one of those cans of pumpkin from the store.  What would you make with this pumpkin puree? And for that matter, what am I going to do with the 3 other 23 lb pumpkins sitting in my living room?!!


  1. Make pumpkin bread, of course! Or pumpkin muffins. I like them with lots of cinnamon and butter, but you can go healthy, too.

    That's a lot of pumpkin puree.

  2. Looks super yummy! I have a cpl pumpkins I need to cook up!


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