Carving pumpkins with family and friends is a lot of fun! In the past we have gone for a drive in the countryside and purchased our orange carving pumpkins a couple of weeks in advance so that we were ready for the big day. This year, however, the drive in the countryside did not happen and our pumpkins came from the local fruit stand with a big city price tag. This means that the kids and I had to come to a compromise: I bought two beautiful big pumpkins but one of the two had to go into the oven the day after Halloween. Pumpkin is one of the key ingredients for my Thanksgiving dinner preparations and in this way the kids were happy because they had pumpkins for Halloween and I was provided with all the pumpkin that I needed for bread, pies and lots of other yummy winter dishes!
We roasted both the seeds and the shell. Read the post and see how it is done. One warning: this is a messy job with kids – which is why they like doing it! Do you have a favorite recipe for me to try? Send it and I will try it out and publish the results!
You will need:
Lots of patience
Roasting pumpkin seeds:
Step 1: Follow Linda’s pumpkin carving tutorial! We opened our pumpkin using a handy pumpkin carving saw.
Step 2: Instead of throwing away your seeds, scoop them out of the pumpkin and into a bowl.
Step 3: When you have scraped out all the pumpkin seeds and your bowl is full, remove all the big pieces of pumpkin pulp from the bowl.
Step 4: Wash the seeds in the sink in order to remove more of the pumpkin goop.
Step 5: Spread the seeds out on paper towels and let dry.
Step 6: Once completely dry, spread your seeds on an alimunum foil covered baking pan. Stir in 3 spoonfuls of corn oil and one coffee spoon of salt. Roast in an oven heated to 180 celcius for around 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Roasting the pumpkin:
Step 1: Cut the pumpkin in half.
Step 2: Place cut side down on an aluminum foil covered baking pan. Cook for 1 to 2 hours at 180 celcius (cooking time depends on the size of the pumpkin, you can tell when your pumpkin is done by pricking it with a fork – the fork should enter easily).
Step 3: Let the cooked pumpkin cool and then scoop out the cooked pulp. Blend until smooth in blender. The next step is very important if you want to make any of the American recipes that I am going to post during the month of November. Drain out as much excess water as possible using a mesh colander. You can save the pumpkin juice that is released for making risotto for example!
I froze the pumpkin puree in 560 g portions. Just to give you an idea our pumpkin weighed 8 kg raw. At the end of the roasting, blending and draining process I had almost 3 kg of pumpkin puree.
Enjoy your roasted pumpkin seeds and the holiday!