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Sep 9, 2006 12:43 PM

Fresh Pumpkin Recipes?

I just bought a little sugar pumpkin at the farmers' market and I have no idea what to do with it -- have never dealt with one. My only experience with fresh pumpkin was eating a friend's very stringy pie many years ago. I hope to avoid the stringy thing. Should I run the pulp through a food mill? I'd really like to make something other than pie, and not flavored with cinnamon.

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  1. Allstonian recently started this great thread about an amazing dish from Helmand (an Afghani restaurant in Boston, SF, and Baltimore)

    1. The stringy pie was probably a result of using the wrong kind of pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are bred and raised for cooking, so you shouldn't have a problem with strings. There are various ways of cooking the pumpkin into a puree, but generally you have to cut it into chunks, scoop out the seeds (which you can rinse and bake until they are crisp for a snack, or throw them on your compost pile for a million new little pumpkin plants), cut off the rind, and then either bake, microwave or cover with water and boil until they are soft, after which you mash or puree in a food processor.

      I once tried to cook a Halloween pumpkin. After all the labor intensive process of chopping, scraping, removing rind, etc. I baked the chunks for about an hour and they were still rock hard. Then I microwaved -- no better. Then I boiled. Eventually they were soft enough to pierce, but very stringy, so I laboriously mashed them through a strainer. At the end I had about 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree from this giant pumpkin.

      You can use the puree in many ways -- pie, muffins, sweet bread, soup, etc. I used to make a pureed pumpkin soup with chicken broth, onion, a bit of cinnamon and cloves, and finished with cream.

      Sarah C

      1. Make a coconut custard (coconut milk, eggs, and sugar), cut the sugar pumpkin (also works great with kabocha) in half, pour the still-liquid custard into the pumpkin halves, and bake at 350 until the custard is juuuuuust about set and you can pierce the flesh of the pumpkin with a skewer -- half an hour or so?

        Then allow to cool, chill, and cut each half in half so you get a thick wedge of pumpkin with a centre of pudding.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          This sounds excellent. It would be an unusual finale to a dinner party. What about the rest of the menu? Any recommendations?

        2. It is still a bit warm for it, but pumpkini ravioli is good.

          1. my ma used to make diced potatoes and also diced pumpkin (boiled) in the same pot and serve them together for a colorful veggie - u have to do the potatoes about 5 min be4 adding the pumpkin. We all looked forward to the unusual combination.