Despite our plethora of homegrown winter squash, when Matthew saw a big (nineteen pounds!), beautiful, heirloom pumpkin at Local Harvest Grocery for less than six dollars last fall, he couldn’t resist.
The big guy hung out in our basement over the winter, and we finally got around to cooking it last Saturday. We left it whole and squeezed it into the oven (it barely fit), where it roasted at about 380° F, until tender and starting to collapse. (The rimmed baking tray underneath it was a must, as it released over six cups of “pumpkin juice.”)
After carefully removing some of the liquid from the tray and taking it out of the oven, I cut it in half to help it cool more quickly. Once cool[er], I scooped out the seeds, then separated the flesh from the skin. After processing with some of the escaped juice, it yielded over fifteen cups of gorgeous puree.
Over the next two days we transformed the puree into these delicious treats:
- Pumpkin custard (recipe below)
- Pumpkin bread — based on this recipe, which I love because of the large amount of pumpkin in each loaf, almost two cups per loaf, versus one cup in most recipes
- GRAINola bars — my first time with this recipe; I’ll be making more of these
- Pumpkin oatmeal — stir 1/3 c. pumpkin puree along with some pumpkin pie spice and walnuts into regular oatmeal
- Roasted pumpkin seeds — okay, so this last one didn’t involve the puree, but the seeds are arguably one of the healthiest parts of the whole deal; washed, patted dry on dishtowel, tossed with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of sea salt, than roasted at 325° F until crunchy
Recipe by Matthew
Adapted from a family recipe
2 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 t. salt
2.5 T. flour
1/4 c. sugar (additional)
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. cream
Combine pumpkin, 1/4 c. sugar, and salt in pot, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Add flour, the rest of the sugar, and spice and continue to cook, stirring frequently.
Once thickened, remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375° F and bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil.
Beat the eggs separately, and then beat in the milk and cream. Add egg/milk/cream mixture to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until well-combined.
Arrange oven-safe ramekins or larger oven-safe glass containers in a roasting pan or a metal cake pan. Pour custard into ramekins and place cake pan in oven. Pour boiling water into the pan (around the ramekins) — the water should come slightly more than halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Bake for about one hour (will depend on size of dish), or until set (knife inserted in middle should come out relatively clean.
NOTE: Great warm; it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. We typically triple this recipe, which makes A LOT of custard. A double recipe might be a better place to start.