Every fall I make sure to choose an apple orchard that also has a pumpkin patch when I go apple-picking–so that I can pick up both green pumpkins and ripened ones (green for my baka who makes an amazing pumpkin stew out of them). Sugar pumpkins are of course the preferred pumpkin of choice to cook with, but those regular carving pumpkins can also be used (they are more stringy on the inside as a result of being bred for their shape), but honestly I’ve been cooking with them for years and I’ve never heard any complaints! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I tend to go to organic farms and pick them fresh, but in any event they will do if you can’t find the sugar ones.
- whole pumpkin
- melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Next cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. (keep the seeds–you can roast them later!). Brush the pumpkin flesh with the melted butter and place flesh side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until a knife can easily pierce the pumpkin, about 45 minutes-1 hour, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Once done, you can scoop the pumpkin out and place in a food processor to puree or simply store in a container in the fridge or freezer. I tend to freeze the pumpkin either 2 cups at a time (since many recipes require 2 cups) in ziplock bags. Sometimes I freeze them first in ice cube trays, which works great if you want to make simple syrup later for pumpkin spiced lattes. Frozen, the pumpkin will stay good up to 3 months or so.