Thursday, October 6, 2016

Roasting Pumpkins

First I cut off the stems, cut them in half, then with a spoon I scraped out all the guts and seeds, and set them aside. Be sure to use a strong sturdy knife and a large cutting board. Just because they are little doesn't mean that they aren't difficult to cut. The skins are quite tough and once you make your first cut they get very slippery and hard to handle. Cut with long deliberate strokes and don't hesitate, or your blade may get stuck. That's all you need! A slippery pumpkin rolling around with a sharp blade sticking out of it! When it came to the scraping, I found a small metal spoon with a rounded end, rather than a tapered end. This made it easier to scrape the guts without digging into the flesh. If you are roasting your pumpkins to cook or bake with, I suggest doing a better job of getting the guts out than I did. Mine are for goats to eat, and they don't care if they're eating pumpkin guts or not.

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees, and lined some baking sheets with parchment paper. Next I arranged the pumpkins on the sheet pans with their cut sides down. I baked the little fellows for about 30 minutes before I began checking on them.

The easiest way to test for doneness is with a fork. If you are able to push your fork easily through the skin, they are done!

My smaller pumpkins took 30 minutes, the larger ones took about 45 minutes to cook. If you are roasting pumpkins for your own use, you can make them into pumpkin puree quite easily. Just scrape the skin from the flesh with a spoon and put the flesh into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and you've got pumpkin puree! Just remember that it is not advisable to can pumpkin that has already been pureed. Always can pumpkin in chunks and puree when ready to use. If you need a way of preserving your pumpkin puree, put it in a reclosable container or a zip top bag and put it in your freezer. Don't forget to label and date the container so you know what you've got!