fresh pumpkin filling
This is one of the quintessential recipes of my childhood. My mom still makes her pumpkin pie from scratch and refuses to cook with canned pumpkin. Not surprisingly, the importance of baking with a fresh squash has been ingrained in my brain and I always try to convert any other canned pumpkin baker I come across. Whenever your recipe calls for pumpkin, just replace the can ingredients with a sugar pie pumpkin! The best time to buy a sugar pie pumpkin is around Halloween. Starting in September you will see them in markets and grocery stores. It’s ok to purchase a pie pumpkin much earlier than you will be cooking with it because they have such a long shelf life. Plus, you can roast up all your pumpkin and save it in the freezer for holiday baking throughout the year. And its not just great for baking, you can use roasted pumpkin in your breads and soups, too! This is the healthier and more sustainable option.
Fresh Pumpkin Filling
One sugar pie pumpkin
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
Cut your sugar pie pumpkin in half and remove the stem
Scoop out the seeds and strings. Set the pumpkin seeds aside for roasting later!
Fill a casserole dish with about half an inch of water and place the pumpkin halves shell up in the dish.
In about 30 minutes check on your pumpkin shells.
They will be hot to touch, but take a finger and lightly push on the pumpkin shell. If your fingers leave an imprint, the pumpkin is done. If not, let it bake a little longer.
When the shells are ready, flip them over and scoop out the insides. The pumpkin should be soft and easy to remove.
This is what will replace your canned pumpkin!
Place in a bowl and mix until soft and there are no more chunks.
Now, you can measure the pumpkin out and begin to bake, or transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen until you need to bake with pumpkin