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I am big on things from scratch. But the one thing I've never tried (kind of been afraid to) was baking a real pumpkin to use in my pumpkin muffins, cheesecakes, etc. I couldn't believe my cousin Ryan...a non-domestic man, did this. My non-cooking friend Sam also did it. How is it, I "couldn't". Then I saw them do it quickly one day on the tv show The Chew. I can do this! So today, I did! :) Not hard at all, my only concern was how to know it was done enough. I'm now convinced it is. But my question for those of you who have done this before, is do you put it in the food processer to make it extra smooth? Or do you cook with it just pulled out of the skin, or fork-mashed? TIA

Sparkle
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But my question for those of you who have done this before, is do you put it in the food processer to make it extra smooth? Or do you cook with it just pulled out of the skin, or fork-mashed? TIA

Depends on what you're making. I've done all three.

MOI
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I mash it and then puree it. Makes for much smoother pies.

And it's all so much better than canned.

RM
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I process pumpkin, and nearly anything else, using a very old woooden-handled potato masher which has a working surface consisting of a 4" round metal plate containing rows of 1/4" square holes.

I mash coarsely for fruits or vegetables used in quick breads or muffins to give them some texture, about medium for a pie filling som it has some body, and quite thoroughly for something like a pudding or cheesecake filling.

I often use the same tool for miking wet ingredients together.

I like the control which hand tools offer.
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I've never tried (kind of been afraid to) was baking a real pumpkin to use in my pumpkin muffins, cheesecakes, etc.

The first thing to know about pumpkins is that there are basically two types, the large jack-o-lantern ones that you see around Hallows-eve, and the smaller “pie pumpkins”. both types can be used but the smaller “pie pumpkins’ are sweeter and have a more intense taste. I usually buy a big one for DW to put by the front door for the kids trick-or-treating and sometimes I’ll get a “pie pumpkin” for kitchen decoration.

Not hard at all, my only concern was how to know it was done enough.

When we returned from our Thanksgiving trip, I cut up the jack-o-lantern pumpkin into large chunks, removing the seeds and most of the “stringy innards” these chunks were placed in 3 baking pans and baked in a 350 degree oven until soft (stuck a dull knife through them) and then allowed to cool to room temp.
;-)

But my question for those of you who have done this before, is do you put it in the food processer to make it extra smooth? Or do you cook with it just pulled out of the skin, or fork-mashed?

When cool, I cut off the skin and ran it through a food processor, in batches to get it fairly smooth and divided it into zipper-top sandwich bags each holding a bit over 1 pound of pumpkin. I froze 4 bags for later use and used about a pound for the first pie. I’m lazy so I just added 2 eggs to the pumpkin in the processor and blended until smooth. I then added 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. I processed that until smooth and added a cup of evaporated milk. When all that was blended, it went into a 9” deep-dish pie shell to be baked. Came out quite good, yes.
;-)

C.J.V. - I’ll probably process the “pie pumpkin” after Christmas if da world don’t end on the 21st, me
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Thanks everyone for the good tips! I ended up getting about 4 cups of beautifully colored pumpkin. Can't wait to use it!

Sparkle
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