Ultimate Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Cooking A Pumpkin
For Pumpkin Puree
Stepping up the bar and cooking your own pumpkin can be intimidating but it has given me an advantage to GREAT tasting pumpkin pies. I have been cooking my own pumpkin for about 17 years now (Thanks to my sister-in-law who taught me how to do it). I have to be honest and say that I did not like pumpkin pies at holidays……EVER! Until I made my own pumpkin puree. It really is not as hard as you might think and I want to take the fear out of it for you. I use to boil my pumpkin but we know that Steaming is much better for you and it also takes out the step of extracting the water from the puree. I will be explaining step-by-step what I do every fall to cook up fresh pumpkin for Thanskgiving and Christmas pies. You will not be sorry you gave it it a try!
Before cooking the pumpkin do the following:
1. Cut open the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and string from center.
2. Cut into wedges in medium size pieces.
Steaming your pumpkin:
Fill large covered pot with 3 inch water; place a steaming rack inside. Add pumpkin pieces/chunks, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and steam for 30 minutes (or until tender). Once cooled peel skin from pieces. This is my favorite since it retains the nutrients with the steaming method and it always seems to be faster and easier than boiling or baking. You can opt to bake the pumpkin as well but I prefer the steaming method.
Once the flesh has been removed, mash with a fork or potato masher, or puree with a food processor or blender until smooth; then simply measure out the amount you need.
In general a 5 lb. pumpkin will yield approximately 4 cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin pulp.
If you’re using a recipe that calls for canned pumpkin, figure one 29 oz. can is equal to about 3-1/4 cups fresh, cooked, and pureed pumpkin. A 16 oz. can of pumpkin is the equivalent of approximately 2 cups of mashed pulp.
If your pumpkin pulp is too watery you may drain it in cheesecloth or a sieve. Alternatively you can cook it down to a thicker consistency in a sauce pan.
Freezing your pumpkin puree:
Depending upon your favorite recipe, place one cup (or 1/2 cup if that is what most of your recipes call for) into a freezer ziploc. Flatten like a slice of bread. Mark the date with a Sharpie and place in your freezer.
Cooked pumpkin pulp freezes extremely well, with no discernable loss of quality even when frozen for months. When you are ready to bake your favorite pumpkin bread, cookie, pie etc., just place the ziploc on the counter. It will thaw in about 20 minutes.