HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PUREE.

I thought it would be helpful to share this information since many people in the past have purchased pumpkin in a can but now would like to make use of their own pumpkins particularily after Halloween.  My favorite puree is made from French Pumpkins but  actually any regular pumpkin can make good puree for baking pies or cakes.

Wash the outside of pumpkin skins to remove any dirt or debris.  Scoup out seeds and stringy membranes.  Depending on the size of pumpkin, cut into pieces about 4 -6 inches.

I find steaming the pumpkin to be the easiest for me to deal with.  I have a wok that I put the cut  pieces of pumpkin into.  I fill the bottom of the wok to the place where the steamer tray sits.  I steam the pieces until tender.  Usually this is about 20 -30 minutes depending on the thickness of the flesh.  Let cool so you can handle the pieces easily.  Scrape the pulp off into a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Usually, a medium size pumpkin will yield a few quarts of puree.  You may freeze it for later use.  Note that most recipes call for a cup at a time, so you may want to freeze into cup size tubs.

Note:  If you do not own a wok or steamer, you can use a large pot with boiling water.  Cook until tender.  Drain in a collander and leave in there until cool enough to handle.  Most of the surface water should be evaporated. 

I absolutely love this cake!  It is a full bodied chocolate with the secret ingredient of pumpkin.  Especially in the fall when I have been cooking down pumpkins and making a lot of puree, it is nice to have something other than pumpkin breads and pies. (Which, by the way, I love as well!)  This recipe was actually developed from a zucchini cake.  I replaced the 2 cups of zucchini with pumpkin puree.  It was so well received that I have won a blue ribbon at the fair with this as well as a special sweepstakes!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of  milk
  • 2 cups of pureed pumpkin

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients with milk and  pumpkin last.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Flip cake out of pan within a few minutes of taking it out of oven.  When cooled, frost with a chocolate frosting.

Frosting

  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 cups  powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa – alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk, if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  About 2 cups of frosting.

This frosting recipe is off the Hershey’s Cocoa can.

 

PUMPKIN – CREAM CHEESE DIP

This is an amazing dip.  We discovered it at Gale Wood Farms a few weeks ago.  We dip our Haralson Apple  slices in it, but you can also dip vanilla wafers, graham crackers and, yes, even chocolate brownies (my kids suggestion!).  It is simple and keeps in the refrigerator up to 9 days.  Here it is:

Creamy  Pumpkin Dip

  • 12 ounces of cream cheese (softened – room temperture)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of pumpkin  – cooked and pureed
  • 4 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and brown sugar.  Beat together until well blended.  Add remaining ingredients to bowl and beat until smooth.  Serve chilled.

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