She approched the task of picking out her very first pumpkin with abnormal amount of seriousness. After wandering the rows of pumpkins, she decide on a small pie pumpkin, perfect for her little fingers to carry. once the perfect little pumpkin had been picked out, she wouldn’t let it out of her sight.
When she climbed to the top of a super high hay stack, she took it with her.
When she meet a goat at the petting zoo that she decide was just a "Doggie" she had it with her.
And she let that doggie know that it was not HIS pumpkin, it was hers.
And when we walked to lunch, she carried it.
And still, that little pumpkin is in her outside toy box, surviving relatively well. I didn’t make pie out of it, settle down. I just wish she hadn’t chosen to fall in love with something so perishable.
First question that needs to be answers when talking about scratch pumpkin pie making is:
What pumpkins can be used? Can you make pie out of those Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins you buy your kids at the grocery store? What is a PIE pumpkin?
First, you can eat any variety of pumpkin, all are squash and all are edible (DO NOT confuse pie pumpkins with gourds, those are not edible) but not all pumpkins were made to be eaten as pie, so the variety you use will affect your results.
Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins have been breed for decades for qualities that have nothing to do with taste. Although still technically edible, the flavors are not taken into account when breeding. Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are now breed for thick skin that can hold up to carving, as well as a heartiness to survive after being carved, and set outside with a candle stuck in it’s guts.
A pie pumpkin is small, like the one that tater picked out, too small to carve. They are also know as Sugar Pie, Northern Pie or New England Sugar. Most grocery stores will sell pie pumpkins towards the end of October, through November, just ask your produce guy.
Usually, one pumpkin is enough to make a pie.
Preheat your oven to 400.
First, remove the stem. Use a butter knife that you don’t care about too much (it may get bent) and run it around the edge of the stem to loosen it up then pry it off with the butter knife.
Then cut it in half down the middle, right through where that stem used to be.
Then scoop out all the guts, seeds and strings.
Then put the pumpkin, cut side down, on a baking sheet covered in tin foil. Make sure the baking dish has sides, the pumpkin may leak while roasting. Cover with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until a fork slides into the skin of your pumpkin easily.
Scoop out the inside flesh of the pumpkin with a spoon.
If your pumpkin flesh is watery, place on a stack of 5-8 paper towels, top with more paper towels and allow to drain for about 5 minutes. For a smoother texture, puree in a food processor for about 3 minutes.