Monday, November 3, 2008

S.O.P. (Save Our Pumpkins)

I suppose this is a "go green" solution that we have been doing long before "going green" was so important. One or two days after Hallowe’en take those lovely orange globes and cut them up and roast them for use later in the winter. There is a little more prep to it than that but it so worth it.

Do not use pumpkins that have been painted or have had vaseline smeared on the cut edges. Do not use scented candles in the pumpkin either as the fragrance will go into the pumpkin flesh. This process is only for the cut and light style of pumpkin.

Cut your Jack-o-Lantern into quarters. Pick out all of the wax left in the pumpkin. Take a large spoon and rescoop out the insides again. Get rid of any of the charred flesh as well. All of the areas that were cut out, eyes, nose, mouth, lid, and lid opening as well as any charred flesh must be cut away. Cut in about ¼ to ½ inch from the edge of the old cut or charred flesh. Slice the pumpkin into strips about 1-2 inches wide. Peel the rind off of the strips. Coarsely cut the pumpkin into cubes. Place in a roasting pan and cook at 400 degrees until soft. Lots of liquid will be released. Press the pumpkin into the juices and keep roasting until most of the liquid is gone. Take out of the oven pressing the pumpkin up on the sides of the pan so as to soften the caramelized and charred areas. So much good flavour is released if you do this step. Let cool. Scape out as much of the pumpkin and charred areas left in the pan as possible. Process in a food processor and then freeze in freezer bags in the amounts you think you will use. We use about a quart at a time. Use the pumpkin puree in pumpkin pie, baking, soups, stews, or risotto.

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