Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Pumpkin Trilogy

Pumpkin. It's not just for Halloween. Conducting my own experiment, I wanted to see if I could combine three recipes using the same pumpkins. Well, by gollie, it CAN be done!

Pumpkins ready for roasting
Start by gutting the pumpkins. Remove the seeds, and soak in a bowl of water for later use. Place pumpkins face down in a glass dish or a deep tray filled with 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. I used the smaller pumpkins that are easier to clean out, and also with three of them, I can fit them on 2 trays.

When they come out of the oven, let them sit for about 10 minutes. Then, scrape the insides into a bowl. I used my Cuisinart to make the puree. Hold onto 4 cups of it for later use!

Pumpkin Puree
I transferred the puree to the crock pot, and begin adding the spices to make Pumpkin Butter.  The recipe follows:


6 cups mashed pumpkin
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Finished Jars of Pumpkin Butter
Mix all together and turn crock pot on high. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 hours. While it was cooking, I turned my attention to the next project: roasting the pumpkin seeds.

Remember, the seeds have been soaking in a bowl of water. Run them through a colander, removing what I call pumpkin shrapnel - this is all the loose fragments of pumpkin stuck to the seeds.  Once you have them all clean, drain and pat them dry. Now you're ready to make Pumpkin Seeds. My Savory recipe is as follows:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
In a sauce pan,  add 1/4 cup of water and
3 teaspoons of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
DASH cayenne powder

Simmer the above for 10 minutes, then add the cleaned pumpkin seeds. Let them cook for another 5 minutes. Drain, and spread on a baking sheet. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Stir, and bake for about 10 more minutes. Seeds should be lightly browned and crunchy. As an extra *wow* factor, I added Sun Dried Tomato Salt for a finishing touch.

The last thing in my trilogy that I wanted to make was a traditional pumpkin pie. I retrieved the 4 cups of puree that I had reserved prior to making pumpkin butter. For the sake of time, I love using the Pillsbury ready made crust found in the dairy case. Yes, MY pie crust will always be the best, I find that this is a wonderful dough to work with. Ok, here is my pumpkin pie recipe:


4 cups of pumpkin puree
3 Tablespoons molasses
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Flour
3 eggs, separated
Milk, combined with 1 can of evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons Captain Morgan Rum

Separate eggs. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until slightly foamy. In a measuring cup, add 1 can of evaporated milk, and add regular milk until the level reaches 2 cups total.  In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except egg whites. Beat one minute. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour into your pie shells. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. At this time, be sure to COVER THE EDGES of your crust. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 30-35 more minutes.

Meanwhile, back to the Pumpkin Butter. By now, it's all flavorful and looking really creamy. A final sweep of it with your emulsion blender ensures total smoothness.  Prepare your jars, and ladle the pumpkin butter into hot jars. Process them in a water bath for 15 minutes. Do not disturb them for 24 hours.

I know there are MANY uses for puree, once it's made. Yes, it is a bit time consuming; however, the taste is so much more dramatic than canned pumpkin. This Trilogy Experiment was a perfect cloudy/snowy Saturday activity for me. My house had a fantastic aroma ALL day, which made it feel warm and cozy. The oven temperature only varied off the 350 mark one time, and that was for the initial baking of the pie. I encourage you to put it on your "to do" list for your rainy day!

Happy Eating!


  1. are an ambitious and industrious one, aren't you?!!! Everything looks great. I've always wanted to boil pumpkin down ever since I read about them doing it in the first of the Little House series....Little House in the Big Woods. BTW...pumpkin seeds made at home are the BEST!

  2. Margaret, I thoroughly enjoyed your recipe! Thanks for taking a look here. are you on twitter?