How to Peel, Cut and Shred a Fresh Pumpkin - Recipes Included
Recipes for Roasting Seeds and Making Puree to Use in Pies and Cakes
Fall has arrived and it is time to start making pies and desserts. Many have questions on how to use a fresh pumpkin in their favorite sweets. This article will explain all the basics from roasting seeds to cleaning the pumpkin.
How to Shred, Cut and Peel a Fresh Pumpkin
This is the easiest thing to do, although many might be afraid of this simple task. It does take awhile to complete this task, but with it will be completed in a few simple steps.
Place a piece of plastic down to protect the counters from all the spills of the pumpkin.
Wash the pumpkin with some soap and water and scrub the outside of the pumpkin. Even though the pumpkin will be discarded, it may spill into the food. So for safety reasons always start with a clean pumpkin.
With a sharp knife in hand, make a circle at the top of the pumpkin and take off the skull of the pumpkin. Scrape off the seeds and reserve for later. Cut off any meat of the pumpkin that can be used for cooking later.
Now with a knife, carefully cut the pumpkin in half, coming straight down from the top of the pumpkin. After the pumpkin is cut in half, cut in fourths and then crosswise, cut again to make eighths.
Remove the seeds and fibers for use later.
Now there are small sections to work with. Taking a heavy duty potato peeler and start peeling the outer thin layer of the pumpkin skin off. For sections not reachable with the peeler, use a knife.
After a few sections are peeled, take a regular potato or vegetable shredder and shred the pumpkin with or place in your food processor for shredding. If using a food processor, make sure that the pieces are small.
The pumpkin will shred fairly easily. For jams and pies, cut the pumpkin in very small pieces.
Note: For juicing of pumpkin, never peel or take the seeds and fibers out. Juice the entire pumpkin but cut in very small pieces.
After cleaning the pumpkin, take the seeds and clean them of all the fibers. Fresh pumpkin seeds are very delicious and wonderful for the health. Take the clean seeds and place them on a baking tray and add some virgin olive oil, salt and paprika. Mix the seeds well. Bake them in a 375 degree oven until they are slightly toasted, but not browned. Remove from the oven and enjoy. Hot pumpkin seeds are a fabulous guest appetizer.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree is used for many deserts, such as smoothies, muffins, pies, cakes, pancakes and more. Make some smoothies with homemade pumpkin marmalade instead of the puree. The marmalade is very delicious and has the sugar already in the marmalade or jam.
To make pies with, such as Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Whip Cream the puree is the best. After making the puree, make sure to drain the puree thoroughly to use in the deserts. It is good to strain the puree in some cheese cloth and then drain again the second time. The puree should be like a very thick cheese spread.
Peel and cut the pumpkin into very small pieces. Place in a large pan or pressure cooker. Add in the pumpkin pieces and enough water to cover the pumpkin by three inches. Cook the pumpkin until very mushy like. Pressure the pumpkin for twenty minutes and then check to see if the pumpkin is done. If not, place it back in the pressure cooker to cook longer.
After the pumpkin is done, drain the water off and place the pumpkin in a blender or a food processor. Pulse the pumpkin until completely mixed and blended.
Take the puree and place in Ziploc bags and place in the freezer until needed.
When removing the Ziploc bag from the freezer, strain the puree twice before using in the recipes.
Now that the art of handling a pumpkin is understood fully, there are so many recipes to be made and perfected for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Before long the whole neighborhood will be envious of the smells coming from the kitchen.