About Pumpkin


A type of gourd, pumpkins have a mildly sweet orange flesh and seeds, or pepitas, that taste wonderfully nutty when roasted. Prepare them any way you would prepare other winter squash. The best cooking pumpkins are the small ones developed for pie making, called pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. There are also excellent large ones called cheese pumpkins; these have a bluish color on the rind. All cooking pumpkins have a distinct, sweet flavor and low moisture content. Take home vividly colored cooking pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any with blemishes on the rind.

When storing, keep them at room temperature up to 1 month or refrigerate up to 3 months. To roast, cut a pie pumpkin into quarters or sixths and scrape out fibers and seeds (reserve seeds for roasting, if desired). To easily remove the strings from fresh-cooked pumpkin. Cook the pumpkin with the strings, Then use an electric mixer to beat the cooked pumpkin. Any strings will attach to the beaters and can be easily removed by rinsing the beaters.

Pumpkin can be replaced with butternut squash. You can use it cup for cup in placed of cooked pumpkin puree and it is great for pie. If the taste of the pumpkin is too strong for you, modify it by adding 1 tablespoon of an acidic ingredient, such as orange, or lemon juice at the beginning of cooking time.

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