Pumpkin season is here and the pumpkin patches are open for business. There really is nothing that says fall has arrived like dredging through pumpkin patches, participating in a good old fashion hayride and drinking warm apple cider.
Did you know a pumpkin is both a fruit and vegetable? It is monoecious, meaning it has both male and female flowers in the same plant.
The New England Sugar or Baby Pam have a sweet flavor and are best used for making pies; so when selecting a pumpkin for the family choose a pumpkin that is heavy for its size (about 3-5 pounds), has a hard rind, and is free of blemishes or bruises. A pumpkin weighing four pounds will yield approximately 1-1/2 cups of pumpkin puree; and can be bake, boil, steam, or pressure-cooked. Avoid using field pumpkins, which are bred for carving jack-o’-lanterns, they tend to be too large and stringy for baking.
Not sure how to cook fresh pumpkin? Pour water in a medium stockpot, (enough to cover the cut pumpkin cubes) peel and cut pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Boil covered until cubes are tender. To puree the cooked pumpkin, scoop out and process the pumpkin flesh in a blender or food processor until thick and smooth. The cooked pumpkin may be refrigerated for 1-2 days. Use this pumpkin as you would pumpkin from a can.
October’s Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Amoretto Liqueur
- 2 large eggs
- 1can (15 oz.) Pure Pumpkin-packed (Do not use pumpkin pie filling)
- 1can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup) deep-dish pie shellSweetened whipped cream (optional)Directions
- Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.
- Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.
- Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
- Pour into pie shell.
- Bake in preheated 400° F oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack for 1 hour and serve or refrigerate..
- Top with sweetened whipped cream before serving.