Cooking With Giant Pumpkin

Paul experimented this season with growing giant pumpkins. What he ended up with were three very large, but not so giant pumpkins. The question is – what do we do with them now? Hannah’s got dibs on one for a jack-o-lantern.

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I suggested we break the other two open, set them out in the yard and let the chickens have fun with them. Paul looked horrified, “What? We’re not going to cook them?”

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So, why not? Hannah had the honors of slicing open our first subject.

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Given the size of the pumpkin, we could only cook up half at a time. Placed on a water filled baking tray, the pumpkin went into a 375° oven for more than an hour until the skin could be easily pierced with a fork.

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In the meantime, Hannah treated the critters to the pumpkin guts.

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The chickens and ducks loved the treats, feasting on them all afternoon.

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I cut the cooked pumpkin flesh out of the shell and ran it through a food processor until it resembled the consistency of puree. There was a lot of moisture in the puree, so drained it overnight in a colander lined with a paper towel. A couple of cups of water/pumpkin juice drained out by morning.

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My puree was a bright, pretty color, but didn’t look anything like the dark puree from the Libby’s can. I made a batch of The Pioneer Woman’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins using my muffin top pan. This is my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe – although I drizzle them with maple cream frosting rather than the cream cheese frosting called for.

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The muffins were extremely moist (almost too moist), but tasty. They just don’t taste like pumpkin. So maybe what I have are Squash Spice Muffins.

The verdict on giant pumpkins for cooking? Edible, but not over-the-top tasty. Paul’s going to have to expand his pumpkin patch next year!

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