This year I forgot to carve my pumpkin for Halloween! I realized I had a whole pumpkin sitting on my front porch so now, it is the end of November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner-instead of throwing my pumpkin away I decided to cook it, and freeze the puree in 2 cup increments to use for pumpkin bread and muffins throughout the year. I will be doing an experiment to cook my pumpkin, it will be prepared three different ways.
Whether you are cooking up pumpkin to make pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie any of these cooking methods should work well. The end result is basically the same a cooked pumpkin!
The first way I will be cooking my pumpkin is in the crock pot and the second method will be cooking my pumpkin in the oven and last but not least the third way will be cooking the pumpkin and on the stove top.
When I was preparing my pumpkin I washed it in the sink with some soap and water making sure to scrub off any dirt or debris left on the pumpkin. Making sure it was clean because the skin would be left on, and the pieces would be stacking upon each other. I used soap and hot water in the sink, but if you like you may also use half a cup of white vinegar in a sink full of water. I removed the seeds and most of the stringy stuff inside the pumpkin.
Cooking a Pumpkin in the Crock pot
After I completed washing my pumpkin, the pieces were cut into smaller chunks so that I could fit them into my large crock pot. I filled the crock pot with pumpkin and added 2 cups of water turned the crock pot on high setting, poking it periodically with a fork to make sure the pumpkin was finished. It took about 4 hours in the crock pot on high.
With this method and the pumpkin came out, I think the best out of the other 2 methods.
*Texture- Was perfect sliced with a knife like creamy butter. Was not watery.
*Time- The time was a bit long 4 hours, but it was worth the end result.
Cooking a pumpkin in the oven
With this method of cooking in the oven, I cut the pumpkin into larger chunks and sprayed cookie sheet with some oil and laid the pumpkin skin side down on the cookie sheet. Then I turned the oven on 350°
I guess it came out good this way but it seemed more like a roasted pumpkin- It was not exactly the texture I was looking for to use it as a puree in cooking. It would have been a good method for cooking other roasted squashes or root vegetables.
*Texture- Seemed dry.
*Time- Was about 2 hours.
Cooking a pumpkin on the stove top
For the stove top I cut the pumpkin into medium pieces. Filled the pot with water and laid the pumpkin pieces into the cold water. Turn the stove on high until it started to boil and then turned it down to a simmer.
This would have been my second choice if I did not have a crock pot and had to cook my pumpkin.
*Texture- Good moist texture but a bit watery, I did put it in a strainer and let it sit for awhile to drain.
*Time- About 1 hour total time with the lid on the pot. This was the quickest cooking time.
Recipes to make with fresh pumpkin: