How to Cook Pumpkin for a Pie (or anything else!)

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Cooking a pumpkin from scratch is cost effective, wholesome and tastier than buying traditional canned pumpkin. Learn how to cook pumpkin for a pie or anything else you may want to add it to.

How to cook a pumpkin for pie or anything else

If you looked around the blog, you may notice that I have talked about cooking from scratch and specifically stocking up on seasonal ingredients like pumpkin and squash. I cook and decorate with these ingredients so it just makes sense to buy them up and stock up on them. I have added them to meatloaf, pancakes, and even made them into a mash. I used them on my fall farmhouse porch and my baby loves them.

Cook up a pumpkin and make some bread, chili or a delicious pumpkin smoothie (I am definitely making this today!). Pumpkin and squash are ingredients that I think you can add to almost anything- sweet or savory.

And it just makes sense in our house to spend $20.00 on a few pumpkins each season. They store well so I use them for fall decor around the house then we eat them. Instead of going out to spend $50.00 (or more, yikes) on fall decor and money on pumpkin puree in a can, I would much rather simplify and just buy the pumpkins to make myself.

This year I am cooking these up a little early. I would like to have my decor out for longer before cooking but I wanted to get a head start on cooking these up for some fall baking. Follow along to see how to cook pumpkin for a pie, soup or anything else you can come up with!

Why Cook a Pumpkin from Scratch?

I discussed this above but I have several reasons.

Frugal Decor

I am a very simple decorator. I like natural elements and cozy linens. This is more sustainable, supports local farmers and is very cost effective which are added bonuses. I do not really like many store bought decor items and honestly am too frugal to spend the money. The exception is something bought from a local shop or artist that I cannot make myself. I would much rather spend $50.00 on pumpkins I can cook up and eat, paired with my handmade pillows and a few baskets than a whole new look at hobby lobby. It is timeless and naturally is cost effective in our home. Why not kill two birds with one stone- or budget?

Health Reasons

Fresh pumpkin is going to have more nutrients than store bought canned with preservatives. It is almost always better to cook something yourself for this reason. It may not always save time or be cost effective but avoiding store bought prepared items will usually be healthier because you are in control of what is in it and how it is preserved. Of course I buy things from the store like anyone else but if I can do it myself with ease, I will usually opt for this for my family’s health.

I Just Love to Cook

Cooking is a hobby for me. I love the process of cooking and baking. I love the satisfaction of serving my family something that I have spent time and effort into preparing from scratch. The only thing better is serving my family a meal that I grew/raised and then cooked from scratch. We are working on that!

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    How long will an uncut pumpkin last?

    Pumpkins can last anywhere from 3-6 months. They may last a little longer if in proper storage in a cold, dark place like a cellar.

    What to do with cooked pumpkin?

    We use cooked pumpkin in almost everything. Pie and desserts is an obvious choice but it is delicious in soups, pasta sauces, and smoothies. Cube the pumpkin and roast it in the oven to throw in meatloaf, casseroles and chilis. You can even just eat it as a side.

    Can you use any pumpkin to make puree?

    The short answer is yes.

    However, I would not recommend just any pumpkin. Some pumpkins do not have as much flavor or hold too much water. I would suggest sticking with smaller pumpkins and Jaradehl’s. You can do the same with any fall and winter squash like acorn and butternut squash.

    Do you have to peel a pumpkin to cook it?

    How to cook a pumpkin for pie or anything else

    No! In fact, I recommend leaving the peels on until after it is cooked. It is a little bit easier to scoop out the pumpkin this way than to peel it prior.

    If you do wish to peel it before hand, you can easily do this with a a potato peeler or knife just like you would a potato. It is not hard, just not as easy as once it is cooked.

    Can pumpkin be frozen for later use?

    Yes, I froze ours for the season to be ready to thaw for pies and soups. I just divided it out into freezer bags and jars to freeze.

    Cook it up the same way you would to use fresh. I like to puree some and leave some cubed. I add to the jars or bags and pop in the freezer.

    To thaw, just pull it out and let thaw in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours or place the entire bag or jar into a bowl of warm water for a bit.

    Ingredients and Materials

    Sharp Knife

    Cutting Board

    Blender (for puree)

    Pumpkin or squash

    How to Cook a Pumpkin for a Pie or anything else

    How to cook a pumpkin for pie or anything else

    Cut your pumpkin or squash in half. For pumpkins I like to pull off the stem and cut down the middle of the top. For butternut squash, I like to cut it in half lengthwise. For acorn squash, I use one of the ridges as my guide.

    Scoop out the seeds.

    Add the squash or pumpkin to a baking dish or sheet pan with the skin side down. 

    Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour or until soft on the inside and browned on top. 

    To peel, allow to cool until it is easy to handle. Use a spoon or knife to scoop out the pumpkin and around the skin. It should glide fairly easily right next to the skin. 

    Chop into cubes or add to a blender to make a puree. 

    How to Cook A Pumpkin

    How to cook a pumpkin for pie or anything else

    Cooking a pumpkin from scratch is cost effective, wholesome and tastier than buying traditional canned pumpkin. Learn how to cook pumpkin for a pie or anything else you may want to add it to. Follow along to learn how to cook pumpkin in your oven 2 ways.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    • Sharp Knife
    • Cutting Board
    • Blender (for puree)
    • Pumpkin or squash

    Instructions

      Cut your pumpkin or squash in half. For pumpkins I like to pull off the stem and cut down the middle of the top. For butternut squash, I like to cut it in half lengthwise. For acorn squash, I use one of the ridges as my guide.

      Scoop out the seeds.

      Add the squash or pumpkin to a baking dish or sheet pan with the skin side down.

      Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour or until soft on the inside and browned on top.

      To peel, allow to cool until it is easy to handle. Use a spoon or knife to scoop out the pumpkin and around the skin. It should glide fairly easily right next to the skin.

      Chop into cubes or add to a blender to make a puree.

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