A Step By Step Guide For Making Pumpkin Mash
Pumpkin Mash is easy enough to get a hold of; most of the time (year round) you can find it in canned form at the grocery store. Whenever we want to make a pumpkin pie, it is readily available. However; during the fall season, fresh pumpkin a harvested and plentiful, which gives you the chance (or choice) to make your own pumpkin mash if you wish.
There are two types of pumpkins that are available to purchase in America around the fall or Halloween time:
They are the well-known Carving Pumpkin that children enthusiastically pick out of a bin at the store or, if they are lucky, they get to go to a wonderful pumpkin patch and pick out one (most children pick the largest one they can find).
And there is the less known Sugar Pumpkin (they are also called baking pumpkins or sweet pumpkins.
The carving pumpkins, like all squash will continue growing, and growing and growing; they don’t have a “ultimate size” and the sugar pumpkin are grown specifically for baking and eating.
I would NOT suggest using a carving pumpkin for baking because they tend to taste bitter and stale. There is more condensed concentrated amount of sugar in the baking pumpkins (which is why they are called sugar or sweet).
To make homemade pumpkin is not “simple” but it is “easy” (It takes about one hour).
With only a few ingredients and tools, you’ll have fresh pumpkin mash for pies, bread, soups or cookies in no time. Enjoy!
Ingredients and Kitchenware
-One sugar pumpkin
-2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
-2 teaspoons of salt
-One Cutting Board
-One Large Kitchen Knife (for cutting)
-One Large Spoon (for scooping)
-About 3 feet of Parchment Paper
-One medium sized cookie / baking sheet
-One Food Processer
1. Washing The Pumpkin
Whether you buy the sugar pumpkin at the supermarket, from a pumpkin batch or find one at a farmer’s market, you should always wash the sugar pumpkin before splitting it and baking it.
You really want to ensure that any grim or dirt is removed from the pumpkin's outer skin.
You won't be eating the outer skin, but you really do not want any chunks of dirty or filth sticking to the pumpkin that can contaminate the inner fleshy meat while it is baking.
You can wash the pumpkin under cold water and, if needed, you can use a vegetable scrub brush to remove any caked-on grim.
2. Preparing The Pumpkin
For this step, you will need the cutting board and the large kitchen knife.
First, you'll want to slice off a small section of the side of the pumpkin so that it will lay flat on the cutting board when it's time to split it.
Since the pumpkin is round chances are that it will want to roll around which can be dangerous as it will not be stable (you can accidently cut, poke or stab yourself while trying to cut it as it moves around, or it could fall off the counter onto the floor and smash open.)
3. Removing The Pumpkin Stem
This step is pretty standard; just think of carving up a Jack O' Lantern.
The main difference here is that you don't need to make a large hole.
It just needs to be big enough to remove the stem.
You want to have as much of the pumpkin available to bake and eat; so the smaller the hole the better.
You won’t need to scoop out the insides yet, just remove the stem for now.
4. Splitting The Pumpkin
Here is where that small slice on the side of the pumpkin comes in handy.
Lay the pumpkin on its side (using the flattened / sliced side as a stabilizer).
First, poke the knife into the top and slice downwards toward the opening from the removed stem.
Then insert the knife into the stem-hole and slice downwards and cutting the bottom half.
This way there is less of a chance of movement of the pumpkin and accidental injury.
5. Scooping The Seeds And Membrane Out
Much like the Carving Pumpkins for Halloween, you'll want to remove the seeds and the stringy membrane from the inside of the two pumpkin halves.
In this case you will really want to completely scrap ALL the stringy orange membrane out on the inside.
Underneath this orange stuff is the flesh of the squash which is much whiter in color.
So you will want to dig down until you reach this whiter part of the pumpkin.
6. Pre-Oven Preparation
Now that you have the pumpkin washed, split and gutted, you will need to prepare the pumpkin for the oven.
Take about 3 feet of parchment paper (basically twice the length of the baking sheet you will be using) and double-fold the parchment paper and line the cookie sheet with it.
Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt into each of the pumpkin halves meaty side (the inside); this will help pull out moisture from the pumpkin half while it cooks).
Lay each half of the pumpkin skin side (round side) up on the sheet.
Rub one tablespoon of vegetable oil on each of the halves (using the two tablespoons oil; one tablespoon for each half).
7. Baking The Pumpkin
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the cookie sheet, with the pumpkin halves on it, on the middle rack.
Bake the two pumpkin halves for 30 minutes.
Check the pumpkin to see if a knife will easily penetrate the skin and flesh (known as “Fork Tender”).
If the pumpkins are not fork tender yet, bake for other 10 minutes and check again.
When fork tender, let the pumpkin halves cool for 20 minutes, or until they can be easily handled by hand.
8. Removing and Mashing The Cooked Pumpkin Meat
Using a large spoon (you can use the same one you used to scoop out the seeds and membrane) scoop out the cooked flesh of the pumpkin and place it in the food processer.
When you have all the flesh of the pumpkin scrapped out and ready, blitz the pumpkin for about one minute (or until it is fully mashed).
You can add a pinch of salt to the mash if you choose (depending on what you plan to use it for).
This entire process will yield about two cups (16 ounces) of pumpkin mash.
NOTE: The Pumpkin Seeds
If you strain out the pumpkin seeds from the orange membrane, you can bake the seeds in the oven.