Sugar Pie Pumpkins:
The first time I roasted a pumpkin, I failed to realize that the stringy insides are actually not the part we want to eat. Lucky for me (and you) I’ve come a long way since that first roast.
Sugar Pie Pumpkins are ideal for…you guessed it: pie! They are sweet and have a soft silky texture when roasted.
To roast, preheat your oven to 350°F. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
Okay, so here’s where I admit that roasting pumpkins or squash often terrifies me. Really it’s just the part where you have to hack it in half. I always fear that I’ll walk away less a finger or two. That’s why I roast the pumpkin whole (or even microwave for a couple of minutes) for 10 minutes before cutting in half. The pumpkin starts to soften so the knife slides through the skin and flesh without much pressure. Let it cool slightly then cut in half and scoop out the stringy bits and seeds. Return the pumpkin to the oven, flesh down, and continue to roast until a fork easily slips through the skin and flesh.
Once cool, peel away the skin using a spoon to help scoop out the soft flesh. Pureé the pumpkin in a blender or food processor then use as you would canned pumpkin.
Breads, muffins, cakes and such are all lovely places for pumpkin pureé to live, but let’s not forget about milkshakes (a scoop of pureé along with organic vanilla ice cream and a bit of pumpkin pie spice) or smoothies (pumpkin pureé mixed with plain yogurt blended with honey or dates along with pumpkin pie spice and perhaps a banana if you’d like).
Or, take your pumpkin down the savory route by combining it with a flavorful stock and a bit of paprika. Warm it up, season and stir in a bit of sour cream or créme fraiche for a rich tang. I like to stir a bit of the pureé into my homemade macaroni and cheese, it adds a bit of rich flavor and nutrition that kids never complain about.
We’ve covered dessert, lunch and dinner, but let’s not forget about breakfast. Stir a bit of pureé into yogurt or oatmeal, sweeten with maple syrup and add a bit of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.