It’s hard to believe, but it’s already October and I’m very happy with that. I don’t really care to wear a bathing suit. I prefer scarves and long sleeves over sun dresses and tank tops. I also enjoy baking in the Fall more so than I do in the summer. It’s hard to cool down a kitchen when it’s 90 degrees outside.
I’m also happy that pumpkin is back in season. Last month I couldn’t find a can of pumpkin in any of my local grocery stores here in Atlanta. I did a little research and discovered that is was considered “out of season.” I had never ever had trouble finding a can of pumpkin puree up North, so why the problem down South? I’m not sure, I never got a straight answer from the grocery stores, but that gave me an idea. I’m going to make my own pumpkin puree and freeze it. That way I won’t run out of pumpkin or pay $2 for a small can of the yummy, fiberlicious, good for you orange stuff.
First thing you need to do is go to your local pumpkin patch and ask for the “sugar pumpkins.” If they don’t have sugar pumpkins, pick out the smaller, younger pumpkins. Then start making your homemade pumpkin puree:
- Rinse the pumpkins whole and place them on aluminum foil lined baking sheets. (Some people like to cut the pumkins in quarters, clean out the seeds and stringy interior, then place them rind side up on the baking sheets. I find this method to be a bit messy.)
- On the middle rack of your oven, roast them at 350 degrees F. for 90 minutes or until tender.
- Remove from the cooked pumpkin from the oven and let it cool for one hour.
- Slice the cooked pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. (Reserve the seeds for toasting, if desired.)
- Carefully remove the interior of the pumpkin from the rind with a large spoon,
- Place the insides of the pumpkin onto a sheet pan or a wide rimmed bowl and mash with a potato masher.
- Run the freshly mashed pumpkin through a cheese cloth or a flour-sack-style dish cloth to remove the excess water.
- Scoop the fresh pumpkin into freezer bags in 15-ounce portions. (The size of one small can of pumpkin puree.)
- Store up to six months in the freezer.
That’s it! No excuses this year – let’s all make our own pumpkin puree. And to get you fired up for pumpkin season, here is the Two Chicks from the Sticks’ Pumpkin Pie recipe.
Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie
1 9-inch unbaked piecrust
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree or 15-ounces of homemade pumpkin puree
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
3/4 scant cup sugar
1/4 scan cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I use less ginger than the recipe calls for)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Whipping Cream for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9-inch deep pie plate with one unbaked piecrust; set crust in the refrigerator or freezer while preparing filling.
2. To prepare filling, in a large bowl combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix until smooth
3. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake on center oven rack for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F. and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If edges begin to brown excessively, cover them lightly with pie guards or strips of foil.
4. Cool pie completely and refrigerate until servig time. Serve with whipping cream, if desired.
Makes 6-8 servings
Your favorite Chick from the South – Jamie