Our beautiful little pumpkin had been sitting, staring at us from the kitchen table since our pre-Halloween adventure, but the thought of peeling it, cutting, gutting, dicing and cooking it was so daunting that I had just let it sit. For weeks. Just as the top was starting to change color I found a little extra time this weekend to play in the kitchen!
I also found out that cooking a pumpkin does not have to be so stressful. The most difficult part of the whole process is cutting it. After that, though, it’s a breeze. If you want a quick and painless way to get the good stuff out of your gourd, here you have it:
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line a baking tray with tin foil. This will make cleanup much easier, and the foil will catch any extra goodness. Make sure your tray is at least ½ inch deep (see step 4)
Step 2: Cut off the top and the bottom, making sure to cut all the way beyond the root of the stem. Watch out for your fingers. You will need to apply some force and the pumpkin is round after all, so make sure it doesn’t roll away from you. Then you can stand the pumpkin on one of the flat ends so it’s nice and sturdy, and cut it in half.
Step 3: Use a metal spoon or ice cream scoop to take out the seeds. You don’t need to worry about getting all the stringy innards out, but definitely get those seeds. You can throw them away or put them aside to roast later!
Step 4: Put you two pumpkin halves inside down, round side up, on the baking tray, add 1/4 inch of water around the pumpkin, and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
Step 5: Once the outside is nicely bronzed and soft (the back of a spoon leaves an indentation) it is ready! Take your pumpkin out, flip it over to let it cool and then scoop out the insides. All of the pumpkin flesh should come away from the skin very easily and can be used as you wish!
So, there it is – a cooked pumpkin is 5 easy steps. I have a stellar soup recipe if you are dying to use this gem. Give it a go and let me know what you think!