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Fresh Pumpkin

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Don Draper

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Gillum's post in a different thread prompted this! Kathleen, I just got back from our local farm market and I purchased some neck pumpkins that I'd like to use for breads, muffins, etc. Can you tell me what to do with them??? I've never attempted this before...I understand they need to be boiled or baked to soften up, but do I need to peel them as well? Any help is appreciated!
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and turn them upside down in a baking pan with a little water. Bake about 325 until a fork/knife pierces the skin. Remove from oven and cool. I use a big spoon and scoop the pulp out of the shell. Puree them in a food processor. Don't forget you can freeze these in the amounts you need for muffins, pies, etc.! I'm sure there are other ways, but this is how I do pumpkins/squash.
By the way, what is a "neck pumpkin"??
 

Don Draper

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I cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and turn them upside down in a baking pan with a little water. Bake about 325 until a fork/knife pierces the skin. Remove from oven and cool. I use a big spoon and scoop the pulp out of the shell. Puree them in a food processor. Don't forget you can freeze these in the amounts you need for muffins, pies, etc.! I'm sure there are other ways, but this is how I do pumpkins/squash.
By the way, what is a "neck pumpkin"??.
It's shaped more like a gourd, it is not round. It has a long neck to it.
 

gillumhouse

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Sorry I did not respond sooner. Had a Garden Club melee (need a contract on one of them!) and my daughter left today - while I was finishing up the meeting.
GG told you the method. It is better than boiling - no extra water in it. After I puree it, I put it in 1 qt freezer bags (date them) - one generous cup per bag because that is what my pumpkin muffin recipe calls for. For pies, I use 2 bags. You can use the jack-o-lantern type pumpkins also. I use a "lipped" large cookie sheet or a 9x13 pan. You can tent it with foil and use about 1 cup or so water - just enough to have some steam generated. Spraying with non-stick is also a good idea for easier clean-up.
I am going to post the pumpkin seed recipe in Recipes.
 

Don Draper

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Sorry I did not respond sooner. Had a Garden Club melee (need a contract on one of them!) and my daughter left today - while I was finishing up the meeting.
GG told you the method. It is better than boiling - no extra water in it. After I puree it, I put it in 1 qt freezer bags (date them) - one generous cup per bag because that is what my pumpkin muffin recipe calls for. For pies, I use 2 bags. You can use the jack-o-lantern type pumpkins also. I use a "lipped" large cookie sheet or a 9x13 pan. You can tent it with foil and use about 1 cup or so water - just enough to have some steam generated. Spraying with non-stick is also a good idea for easier clean-up.
I am going to post the pumpkin seed recipe in Recipes..
Thanks much! Yes, kind of like butternut squash but the taste is pumpkin. My mother-in-law uses them to make her pies and they are the best tasting pumpkin I've ever had.
Here's a pic:

 

gillumhouse

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OK, I forgot to say do not peel. The shell should just pull off the meat after baking.
 

Don Draper

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Ok, got the scoop (literally!) and made the fresh pumpkin on Friday. The neck pumpkin is just fantastic, if you can get them. I think they are fairly localized to the mid-Atlantic region for growing.
The best part is that only the belly of the neck pumpkin has seeds/guts, the entire neck is all pumpkin flesh, so the yield is high for the effort. Here's how I prepped:
Cut the neck away from the belly. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the thin layer of skin from the neck. Cut the belly in half, and use a spoon to scrape out the guts/seeds/string. Then use the vegetable peeler to remove the thin layer of skin from the belly pieces.
Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch size pieces. Place in pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil until pumpkin pieces are soft...this is just like making potatoes for mashing. I then used an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin in the pan after I had drained it. You can also just use a fork or a potato masher.
One medium neck pumpkin yielded 6 cups for me. Very easy and worth the effort...I just made chocolate pumpkin pecan bread with this, will post the recipe now. YUM!!!
 

gillumhouse

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Ok, got the scoop (literally!) and made the fresh pumpkin on Friday. The neck pumpkin is just fantastic, if you can get them. I think they are fairly localized to the mid-Atlantic region for growing.
The best part is that only the belly of the neck pumpkin has seeds/guts, the entire neck is all pumpkin flesh, so the yield is high for the effort. Here's how I prepped:
Cut the neck away from the belly. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the thin layer of skin from the neck. Cut the belly in half, and use a spoon to scrape out the guts/seeds/string. Then use the vegetable peeler to remove the thin layer of skin from the belly pieces.
Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch size pieces. Place in pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil until pumpkin pieces are soft...this is just like making potatoes for mashing. I then used an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin in the pan after I had drained it. You can also just use a fork or a potato masher.
One medium neck pumpkin yielded 6 cups for me. Very easy and worth the effort...I just made chocolate pumpkin pecan bread with this, will post the recipe now. YUM!!!.
Had you baked it and then removed the skin it would have been easier and there would be less liquid in the pureed pumpkin. I have used neck pumpkins and do like them. What they call pie pumpkins are small and quite meaty. Jack-o-lantern size should only be baked and pureed in the processor as they are otherwise stringy but they also give the benefit of the great snack of pumpkin seeds.
 

Don Draper

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Ok, got the scoop (literally!) and made the fresh pumpkin on Friday. The neck pumpkin is just fantastic, if you can get them. I think they are fairly localized to the mid-Atlantic region for growing.
The best part is that only the belly of the neck pumpkin has seeds/guts, the entire neck is all pumpkin flesh, so the yield is high for the effort. Here's how I prepped:
Cut the neck away from the belly. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the thin layer of skin from the neck. Cut the belly in half, and use a spoon to scrape out the guts/seeds/string. Then use the vegetable peeler to remove the thin layer of skin from the belly pieces.
Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch size pieces. Place in pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil until pumpkin pieces are soft...this is just like making potatoes for mashing. I then used an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin in the pan after I had drained it. You can also just use a fork or a potato masher.
One medium neck pumpkin yielded 6 cups for me. Very easy and worth the effort...I just made chocolate pumpkin pecan bread with this, will post the recipe now. YUM!!!.
Had you baked it and then removed the skin it would have been easier and there would be less liquid in the pureed pumpkin. I have used neck pumpkins and do like them. What they call pie pumpkins are small and quite meaty. Jack-o-lantern size should only be baked and pureed in the processor as they are otherwise stringy but they also give the benefit of the great snack of pumpkin seeds.
.
I thought about doing it that way but as I had "the boss" watching (my Mother-in-Law!) I did it her way. I cooked it until it was just soft and then drained it, so there wasn't much water in the puree. I am going to get a bunch more to freeze next week so i will try baking them, it's probably easier to do bigger quantities that way as well. Thanks for your help!
 

seashanty

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i use a foley food mill. just simmer my squash (or apples) without peeling. then you run the squash through the mill. the seeds and peels all stay on top and the mashed up 'whatever' goes through.
i'm linking to an ad for a used one so you can see. (my camera died - *sniff*) ... you have to get the authentic kind with the little arm on the underside. there is a newer version that my family deems not as good as the original www.rubylane.com/shops/dottyleestreasures/iteml/243#pic1
 
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