In her recent post "How to Make a Perfect: Pumpkin Pie," Jane Catherine Collins recommends that you make your pumpkin pie with canned pumpkin. After roasting a couple of whole pumpkins this fall, I have to agree with JCC. Funny thing is, the first time I roasted a whole pumpkin, it thought it was really easy and worth the trouble.
The lady at the pumpkin booth up at the Farmer's Marketing Association on Airline behind Canino's recommended one of those ridged pumpkins for cooking. It was green on the outside, but bright-orange inside. You have to cut a chunk out of the whole pumpkin so it doesn't explode in the oven. I put it on a baking sheet, set the oven on 350° and baked it for an hour. After scraping out the seeds, I had a whole lot of pumpkin meat for a minimum of effort. I made spicy pumpkin soup out of that one.
Then a couple of weeks later, I was testing pumpkin pie recipes. Newly informed about pumpkin cookery, I picked up three "sugar pumpkins" at the supermarket. I roasted them the exact same way. But after an hour in the oven, two of them were still hard. Maybe the bright-orange pumpkins were still green -- if that makes sense. When I finally scraped together enough pumpkin meat for the pies, it was a sickly tan color. It tasted okay, but it looked awful. I concluded that roasting you own pumpkins is a hit-or-miss affair.
Canned pumpkin, on the other hand, never lets you down. It tastes good in soup too.
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