Happy Halloween, everyone! We’re right in the midst of pumpkin season (one of my favorite seasons). Every year I decorate my house with pumpkins & explore new pumpkin culinary pursuits. A few years ago I decided to try making fresh pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, instead of canned pumpkin & I’ve never looked back. Fresh pumpkin is far superior to canned pumpkin, there’s just no comparison. The first step in making fresh pumpkin anything is to roast your pumpkins. It’s easy peasy & it makes your house smell amazing. Read on & you’ll be a fresh pumpkin expert in no time.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Carefully cut your pumpkin into large chunks. Discard the stem & bottom. Scrape the innards out of the pumpkin chunks with a melon baller or spoon.
- Place the scraped pumpkin chunks, skin side up, on a cookie tray lined with aluminum foil. Brush pumpkin skins with oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin easily peels off the pumpkin. Remove from the oven. Use a fork to easily peel off the pumpkin skin & discard the skins. Place the pumpkin chunks in a bowl.
- Mash the pumpkin chunks with a potato masher until smooth. Store pumpkin puree in sandwich bags.
- I like to measure out 2 cups of pumpkin puree into each sandwich bag since this is the amount most recipes call for. That way I have it all measured out & ready to go.
- I prefer to use sugar pumpkins, since they are sweeter. But regular pumpkins can be used too. I love taking a giant pumpkin that I’ve used all season for fall decorating & roasting it before Thanksgiving. It’s like a 2 for 1 special & you get a ton of pumpkin out of it. Then you get to fill your freezer with pumpkin puree & make fresh pumpkin pie in the middle of February.
- By the way, you can freeze pumpkin puree for months.
- Use pumpkin puree to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, etc (I feel like I’m in Forrest Gump).
- Save the seeds & bake them up too. Is it really autumn if you haven’t eaten pumpkin seeds?
This year I decided to grow my own pumpkins. Dreams of a plethora of pumpkins danced through my mind, as I planted my very first pumpkin plant a few months ago. But, alas, it was not meant to be & some critters ended up feasting on my pumpkins plant’s vines & the plant died soon after. I was advised that it was vine borers, so curses, vine borers! Curses! But that’s how I’m sneaking in this pumpkin recipe onto a blog that I created for gardening & gardening-related activities like cooking with your garden treasures. I tried to grow pumpkins this year.
For this Halloween, I decided to make a sculpted pumpkin cake from Preppy Kitchen. I love his Youtube channel. He is just so creative & talented, so once I saw his pumpkin cake video I knew I had to give it a try. I love pumpkin-shaped anything & I love me some fancy baking, so a pumpkin-shaped cake is something I can’t pass up. It was actually really easy to make, it’s just a bit time-consuming. The cake is beyond delicious, very moist (which can be a problem for me cake-wise) & it’s buttercream, so no fondant flavor issues. Carving out the frosting was really fun too. Try it out yourself!