Monday, October 19, 2009

What I Learned This Week: Fresh Pumpkin Pie is the Best

What I Learned This Week

I planted sugar pumpkins for the first time this season. I was a bit skeptical in July as the vines overtook the section of my garden devoted towards viney crops. They quickly drown out my watermelon, muskmelon, and honeydew. Now I am glad they did!

Here's a sample of the 25 pumpkins coming from three vines.

I wasn't sure if I was going to do anything with my pumpkins until I saw an article about a pumpkin puree shortage. Knowing that others may not have canned pumpkin to make yummy muffins or pie, I figured I should use mine up! So, I made pumpkin pie from a recipe I found on, Pumpkin Butter from Smitten Kitchen and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

It was so much easier than I would have ever thought!

Step 1: Wash the pumpkin, split it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Put all the guts in your compost pile rather than the trash can.

Step 2: Lightly oil a baking sheet, place the pumpkin open side down, cover with aluminum foil and roast at 325 degrees until tender.

Step 3: Let cool until it is warm, but not quite room temperature. Scoop out the flesh and press it through a sieve.

Step 4: Substitute the fresh puree in recipes calling for canned pumpkin. One 15 ounce can equals 1.75 cups fresh puree.

Step 5: Store fresh pumpkin in a sealed container for one week or in the freezer for three months.

The pumpkin butter is divine. I can't wait to make a spiced pumpkin pecan milkshake or spoon it over cheesecake.
The muffins were also good. I took those to my daughter's preschool bake sale.

But the pie. OMG! It was super sweet and by far the best pumpkin pie I have EVER had.

And, as if a higher power knew I was planning this post, my son came home with more pumpkin facts today. Did you know Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state? Or that you can use pumpkin puree to thicken chili, spaghetti sauce, soups and stews? Or add it to oatmeal? I think I may be trying that last one in the morning!

*Facts courtesy of University of Illinois Ideas for Eating Better for Less, October 2008 edition.


  1. Never had pumkin pie - we only have them here too carve for halloween - and when I was a child we did not have pumpkins but used turnips!

  2. I can't imagine a world without pumpkin pie! Can you get it in a can in Ireland?