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I’ve noticed this year, baby sugar pumpkins are available later in the year than usual, and are going for a pretty low price of about $.25 each. That makes this a great time to get a bunch of these sweet little beauties and make a lot of things out of them! But, I’ve found that a lot of people have no idea what to do with them. So, here’s a primer on how to get them ready, roasted, and stored!
When picking out your pumpkins, choose pumpkins that are uniformly round, bright in color, and firm. You can cut out soft spots without changing the final product if necessary, as sometimes you get a better deal on the fruit. Avoid moldy ones though. If there’s mold on the outside, you’ve probably got mold on the inside. Ick!
- Pumpkins, sugar baby (each pumpkin will produce around 2 cups of pumpkin mash)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Wash the pumpkins well and dry them.
- With a sharp knife, or pumpkin "saw" from Halloween, cut the pumpkins in half, knocking off the stem. Scoop out the seeds and goopy strings, leaving the bright orange flesh intact. (Save the seeds! I'll be posting a great recipe for those later this week!) Place cut side down on an ungreased baking or cookie sheet. Place in the oven and back until flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.
- Let cool. (This is very important. Handling hot pumpkins can cause some pretty painful burns, trust me!)
- When cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the flesh into a blender or food processor. Pulse in small batches until smooth. If you don't have a blender or processor, I've mashed with a potato masher or hand mixer as well. The end result isn't quite as smooth, but is just as tasty!
- You can now use the pumpkin in your favorite recipes, or, freeze in zippy bags or can. I freeze in 2 cup increments, as most of my recipes call for 2 cups of mashed pumpkin. If canning, since pumpkin has a low acidity, pressure canning is recommended. Follow the instructions of your canner for best results.
How easy is that? My family hates canned pumpkin from the store now, and I know they are getting the best pumpkins I can buy when I do it myself. What are your favorite pumpkin recipes? I’ll be posting some this week for you to try!