Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin pie and of course Pumpkin Spice Latte! The beginning of Fall is the beginning of the holidays...may favorite time of year.
This month, I will dedicate several blogs to the squash plant for all the Fall/Pumpkin Loving people out there. Stay tuned this week as I show you how to make your own "Pumpkin Spice Creamer" to enjoy at home.
So to start, I wanted to make my own pumpkin puree. I have never done it before and since I want to make my mini "lid pies" (I will soon share) for customers I wanted to make a pumpkin pie from scratch.
I had a couple of "naysayers" touting their opinion on why mess up a good thing... just go and buy pumpkin puree in a can. However, making fresh baked pumpkin pie for customers, I wanted it all from scratch...including the crust.
So I grabbed some of the small pumpkins at my local grocery store. Gee, I always thought these little guys were to decorate.(wink wink smiley face) I buy these every year and typically I am painting them and carving them for mini versions to decorate inside the home. Who knew that I should be roasting these and making puree.
It's not hard at all, you cut the stem off, then cut in half and scoop out the fiber and seeds. I saved the seed as I do with any pumpkin. I have to tell you...these little pumpkins pack a lot of seeds. You then cut the halves in half. I foiled a cookie sheet and laid then flesh side up and roasted in the over (350 degrees) for about 45 minutes. It's ready when you can pierce the flesh easily with a fork.
Once roasted, scrape the flesh from the skin and place it in a food processor, vitamix blender or whatever you have to puree the pumpkin. That's it! From there you are ready to use in your made-from-scratch recipe.
In making your puree, you may start wondering why your puree doesn't seem as dark in color as the ones in the can. I also noticed a different taste in my homemade pumpkin pie than when I use the puree in a can version. Actually...I really enjoyed the homemade version. The puree wasn't as sugary-sweet, but it was de-lish!
I started researching the pumpkin-in-a-can puree to see the ingredients. They all seem to say "pumpkin, sugar, dextrose and natural flavors". HOWEVER...I found from several sources that the USDA/FDA allows some leniency in what they can classify as pumpkin. We all know what pumpkin is...an orange round vegetable that we see during the Fall either small or much larger. I've read that there are other varieties of squash that companies use along with pumpkin. Particularly Libby's...they grow a proprietary strain of squash called Dickinson Squash. It is more of a squash...closer to a butternut squash. As I mentioned, the FDA allows companies to classify the pumpkin and many of your winter squash as pumpkin. What you will find is that the squash varieties that are incorporated in with the pumpkin will give a sweeter taste. I have enjoyed for many many years the pumpkin puree in a can and if you enjoy...you should continue to do so. I know that it is a great tasting pie. Super easy to use and make.
I DID enjoy this pie and I was successful in making my mini pumpkin pies. I have a customer that is looking for 2 dozen for an event in two weeks. SO I will be practicing lots!!!!! Johnny is being my hand model to show you the mason jar lid and the easy removal of your mini pie. Johnny said he'd rather be the "Guy eating pie model". I said..."Maybe later". (Wink wink smiley face)
As I mentioned earlier...stay tuned for this weeks recipe for homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer.