These days, since Papa Pea and I both enjoy it, we still don't need a special occasion for it to turn up on our table.
A place to grow pie pumpkins always appears in my garden, even this year when I had to grow them in a 4 x 8' raised bed.
A good friend in New York state generously sent me seeds for her favorite pie variety, Winter Luxury. Even in their small area, they produced prolifically for me. I had more lovely, round, medium-sized pumpkins than I needed.
Here's how I prepare mine for the freezer.
The rind is tough so I needed a hammer and my longest chef's knife to cut them open.
The easiest way for me to clean out the innards is with a melon baller.
Although I have saved the seeds and made roasted pumpkin seeds in years passed, this year all the cleanings went to the chickens.
I tell them it's their Halloween candy . . . and they do gobble it up.
All set for the cookie sheets.
I've found covering the cookie sheets with parchment paper makes for much easier clean-up. I bake them at 350° for 55-65 minutes. Test with a fork on the meaty side until they are sufficiently soft. Then scoop the pulp out with a spoon and place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or you can use an electric mixer if the pulp seems stringy to you.
After baking, I measure the pulp into two-cup amounts.
Then I put it into small freezer bags, flatten to get the air out, and freeze.
Here's our first pie of the season. Was it good?
I have done that in the past, but it's been a while! Did you know that canned pumpkin you buy in the stores is often partially squash of other descriptions? They're all the same family, I guess. Your pie looks good! -Jenn
It tastes so much better than canned pumpkin from the store! I make mine this way too.
Jenn - Yes, I did know that commercially canned pumpkin frequently contains what we usually think of a squash. I've made pumpkin pies from Red Kuri squash myself and it was very good. Hee-hee, too bad zucchini wouldn't make up into a good "pumpkin" pie!
Jan - Hello, and thanks for commenting! I found that sometimes canned pumpkin from the store can have an almost bitter after-taste. Yuck. Can't miss with that we grow ourselves!
It's funny I always have made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but never eat it. Just not a fan, but I love Indian Pudding! I make that too. Great system you have to freeze it!
We always have the traditional pie at Thanksgiving. Every year I think I'll try something else, but always circle around and come back to the traditional. It would be so much fun to grow your own punkins. And then, make fresh pies.
Thank you so much for the clear instructions. I just gave the last of the pumpkins to the chickens yesterday (not pie pumpkins, just ones I grew for them).
Nancy - I don't think you're alone in not being crazy about pumpkin pie. I was very surprised when our daughter (at a young age) decided it was her favorite pie. And because pies are my very favorite dessert, and I've always made a lot of different varieties of them, her preference seemed unusual! Each to their own, eh?
Faith - One year before Thanksgiving I announced I was going to skip the traditional pumpkin pie and make a frozen pumpkin/ice cream dessert instead. Oh, my! I was almost drummed right out of the family for even suggesting such a thing! ;o}
tpals - You're welcome. Yep, our poultry seem to love raw pumpkins, too. Also, the shells from the roasted pie pumpkins are literally pounced upon when they are tossed in the yard.
I grow pumpkins on the side of my house among the watermelons. I don't have much room to grow stuff so things get overlapped. I have six pumpkins that I will be picking off the vines sometime next week. They will be processed and frozen for ingredients in pies, cookies, cakes, and doughnuts within the coming year. David keeps saying we need to get another chest freezer and maybe turn a closet into a pantry for canning only. I say we are just fine.
Leanna - I'm with David! Can we ever have enough food put by? :o) Mmmm, pumpkin doughnuts . . .
Daughter-in-law (or Daughter, as we call her) next door, loves Pumpkin Pie. After all the washing she did for us, and all the making phone calls about the ding-dang washing machine, they did for us.....I have to make her a Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving. With my home made crust, of course. -smile-
I make my own crust, but the filling, comes from a can, here. -grin-
wisps of words - I'm sure your "daughter" will be thrilled with her special pumpkin pie! What a nice gesture . . . for her nice gestures!
Hi Mama Pea. Here's a tip for cleaning out any type of winter squash. I don't remember how I discovered it but it works great. Use a regular sized canning lid. The sharp edge scrapes cleanly and effeciently and quickly!
Anonymous - What a great tip! That would work much faster than the melon baller tool. Thank you!
Do you wash and reuse your parchment paper?
How I would love a piece of that pie! I can smell it...really I can. Every time I make a pumpkin pie, my son says it smells like Grandma's house. That's my mom's house. What could be a better memory!
I use a melon baller too. Makes it so easy. We, unfortunately, didn't grow any this year. Gonna be a weird winter without my pumpkin in the freezer.
J.L. Murphey - Duh, I didn't even realize you could do that! (Shamey on me.) Although if you had seen the parchment paper after the pumpkin halves were baked on it, I'm wondering if it could have been washed and reused. It was a pretty gooey, stuck-on mess. But next time I use parchment paper (I don't regularly use it as some folks do on their cookie sheets), I promise I'll give it a try to see if I can reuse it. Good idea.
Hill Top Post - They say our sense of smell brings back more memories than any of our other senses. Sauteing onions or an apple pie baking are also very fragrant and appealing!
Kristina - I have an apple/pumpkin (with some of the "leftover" pumpkin) bread in the oven as we speak. Yes, I know you will miss having a good supply of pumpkin this winter. :o(
I used to bake and freeze my own pumpkins but here I have had neighbors spraying and I had to spray for poison oak, ivy and another that I dare not garden except in containers. I never had that problem on the farm. I could buy some but instead I got organic canned pumpkin but I have yet to make a pie with it....yours looks delicious! Enjoy!
Sam I Am - I understand your difficult situation. The main reason we moved here to northern Minnesota from the beautiful farm land of Illinois was because there was no way we could grow healthy food with all of the farms around us spraying poisons continually. How can all of that not be in the soil for who-knows-how-many years to come? The toxic residues were definitely showing up in the wells. It's a challenge these days, but I know you're doing the best you can. Organic canned pumpkin sounds like a good choice for you.
Those are lovely pumpkins! Once I had tasted homemade 'canned' pumpkin, I never looked back. Why is it your pies always look so perfect?
Susan - Ha, funny you should comment on the looks of the pumpkin pie. Usually I cut little maple leaves from dough scraps (I have a cookie cutter that is about 1-1/2" across) and place them in a circle on the top of the pie near the edge before baking it. I completely forgot to do that this time and I was kicking myself 'cause the pie didn't look purdy at all! Drat. You're so right about homemade pumpkin puree compared to the commercially canned stuff. So, so much better!
Oh my goodness...you certainly have drooling. One of my favorites too.
Nice to meet you.
Have ME drooling. Sorry. I was so excited with a piece of your pie.
Hi, Hootin' Anni! Thanks for commenting. I didn't know there were so many pumpkin pie lovers out there. Or maybe it's the whipped cream! Anyway, hubby and I decided we can have pumpkin pie for breakfast this winter any time I make one. I mean it's almost like custard and that's healthy with all the milk and eggs, etc., right? ;o) Wish I could really share a piece of the pie with you.
Mama Pea, Re: the canning lid tip on cleaning squash. I have small hands so the reg. lid works best for me. However, when cleaning a big squash, a wide mouth lid will work too. The only drawback to this quicker method is maybe getting squash innards on your hands. I throw out all the innards and seeds outside for the birds, foxes, skunks and deer. I never see a scrap left in the lawn!
Anonymous - Cleaning out a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, pie pumpkin or many other squashes IS a messy business! When our daughter first started school, one Halloween the teacher had the kids clean out the pumpkins they were going to carve. It was curious to see that the little boys were a bit grossed out and didn't want to put their hands into the goopy innards to clean them out. But most of the little girls tied into the job with glee. I do think a canning lid would be a good tool for us "older" kids to use!
Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant. i love it.
Live Train Status
Post a Comment