Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cooking with Fresh Pumpkins

With Halloween on it's way later this month the local stores and produce stands are loading up on pumpkins.  I picked up a couple of sugar pumpkins earlier this week and I'm planning on pureeing them, then freezing them so I can use them for pies & other baked goods later this fall and winter.  If you're not familiar with sugar pumpkins, they are a typically smaller variety of pumpkin with an especially thick flesh that makes them an extremely poor choice for carving but an excellent choice for cooking.  The flesh is also sweeter than that of your typical carving pumpkin.  We used to grow them when we had a garden, but we really haven't been gardening for a few years now (long story perhaps to share another day). 

In the past I've either boiled or baked the pumpkin and I haven't been particularly happy with either choice.  Boiling the pumpkin tends to result in a watery and less tasty puree than baking, but baking seems to result in hard, crusty spots on the surface of the pumpkin flesh that doesn't puree very well.

So today, I'm asking for your help.  What is your favorite method of preparing pumpkin for preserving?  Do you freeze the results, or can them?  I'm looking forward to hearing your comments, thoughts and ideas - and feel free to share your favorite fresh pumpkin recipes too!

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