Kick the Can...Roast your Own!

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been finalizing our holiday menu, thinking about ingredients and planning to do whatever I can ahead of time so I can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and not be crazy busy in the kitchen. We'll celebrate at home and then go to my cousin's house for desserts, which I am bringing. I am making a pumpkin chiffon pie, chocolate pecan pie, pumpkin pudding and, at the request of my five-year-old second cousin, pumpkin bread.

I may be wrong, but I have decided that the world is made up of two kinds of people--those who love pumpkin pie and those who love pecan pie. I was never a pumpkin pie person. I am not sure if I was turned off by the thought of using a canned product to make a homemade pie for the holidays or whether it was a taste thing, but I would never even touch the stuff. I always went for the pecan pie instead. (What that says about my personality, I am not sure, but call me nutty if you must.)

My husband, on the other hand, is a pumpkin pie kind of guy and I love that about him. Yin and yang. Several years ago, I decided to take drastic measures in order to see if I could become a pumpkin pie person--it's possible, I thought. So I roasted my own sugar pie pumpkin and made a pumpkin chiffon pie. It was lighter than the traditional thick and heavy pumpkin pie and guess what, Mikey? I liked it!

I liked it so much that now I am on a mission to encourage everyone to roast their own pumpkins for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, anything pumpkin. It's a super easy thing to do that makes all the difference in the world.

In order to inspire you a little more, I am going to show you how to roast a sugar pie pumpkin in the hopes that you, too, or someone you love will become either a pumpkin pie person or both a pumpkin pie and pecan pie person. In the least, I hope this exercise will serve to make you (and your loved ones) protest (and detest) canned pumpkin!

I found two of the three sugar pie pumpkins I have at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market and the other one at Central Market. Fortunately, 'tis the season and these little orange gourds should be in abundant supply no matter where you live.

Now get roasting and Happy Thanksgiving from me to you!

Buen provecho!

How to Roast a Pumpkin
The Cowgirl Gourmet


While you can use a big pumpkin, the sugar pie pumpkins are made for roasting and perfect for both sweet and savory recipes, so choose a small, firm pumpkin between 2-5 pounds.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Rinse the pumpkin well to remove any dirt.

Two sugar pie pumpkins on the left are from Engel Farms in Fredericksburg
(the smaller one weighs 2 lbs. and the middle pumpkin came in at 4 lbs.)
and the bigger one on the right is from Central Market (and weighs 5 lbs.)

3. On a large cutting board and with a large, long, sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half--from top to bottom.

4. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

5. Get a large baking dish or baking sheet (I lined a baking sheet with foil) and place the pumpkin cut-side down. Top with 1/4 inch water. This helps to keep the pumpkin moist while roasting.

6. Place baking dish or sheet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size, until tender.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the skin.

8. Because the pumpkin will come out of the shell very chunky, I like to puree it in a food processor. You want it to look like applesauce. This way it's ready when you are.

9.  Store pumpkin in the fridge in a sealed container for up to five days. Alternatively, you can freeze the pumpkin for several months.

Now you are ready to make a pumpkin pie, pumpkin chiffon pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding or any other pumpkin dish you have in mind!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Post a Comment

Top 5 Posts