Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Freezing Fresh Pumpkin & Pumpkin Pie

Cooking

It’s time for Karen’s Killer Fixin’s! Over the years, I’ve filled two 4-inch, 3-ring binders with my own creations as well as recipes my family and friends were willing to share with me. I simply love to cook and want to share that love with my readers. So every Friday, I share one recipe I think you and your family might enjoy. It might be a main course recipe. A cookie or baked item. Candy. Salads. Whatever strikes my eye and fancy…which today is FREEZING FRESH PUMPKIN and PUMPKIN PIE!

My family loves pumpkin pie, especially if it’s made from fresh pumpkin. No cans in our cupboards! Since we’re on the heels of pumpkin season and ready to get into Thanksgiving pies, I’m sharing two of my favorite recipes so you can enjoy fresh pumpkin pie, too.

I hope you enjoy today’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy eating!

Karen

P.S. We’re at 234 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.

FREEZING FRESH PUMPKIN

Small pumpkins are best for flavor and texture and ease of preparation, however, larger pumpkins can also be used.

Cut pumpkin in half (thirds if larger) and scoop out all seeds and debris.  (Set seeds aside if desired to make baked pumpkin seeds.)  Leaving rind on, place cut side down on cookie sheet or pan large enough to accommodate pumpkin halves.  Bake in 275 degree oven 45-60 minutes until pumpkin meat is fork tender.

After 60 minutes, if pumpkin not quite tender, check in 10 minute increments.  There might be a bit of browning juice in bottom but that’s okay as long as it doesn’t burn.  When pumpkin is tender, remove from oven and let cool enough so it can be handled.  Scoop the tender pumpkin into a ricer or food processor and process until texture is smooth.  Use processed pumpkin in pumpkin pies, cookies, and desserts as needed.

** Be aware that fresh pumpkin retains more moisture than canned pumpkin and adjust your recipes accordingly. (See Pumpkin Pie recipe BELOW)

If you wish to freeze for future pies, recommend freezing in 5 cup increments.  That way you’ll have exactly enough fresh pumpkin for the 2 pies in next recipe.  Then, all you need to do is thaw one package.  When pumpkin meat is completely cooled, spoon into ziplock freezer bags and mark with the date processed.  Freeze flat for easier stacking.  Thaw completely before use.

PUMPKIN PIE made with FRESH PUMPKIN
[Two 9-inch deep dish pies]

2 uncooked 9-inch pie crusts
1 lg. can pumpkin OR 5 cups fresh pumpkin
2 T. flour
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 can evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
2 large eggs (add last!)

NOTE: If using fresh pumpkin, increase flour to 3 T. and use 3 eggs.

Make two 9-inch,deep-dish pie crusts, either from scratch or use store-bought crusts. Set aside. In large bowl, beat together rest of ingredients until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Pour into un-cooked pie crusts, spreading evenly between pie shells. Do not overfill—extra pumpkin can be poured into oven-proof bowl and cooked separately as a custard. (Great for those who don’t want piecrust!) Bake in 400 degree oven, 10-15 minutes. Then, turn down heat to 350 degrees for 45 minutes until middle is set. NOTE: May need to cook longer to set when using fresh pumpkin. Check in ten-minute increments after 45 minutes. Cool on racks and serve. If not serving immediately, cool, and then place (covered with plastic wrap) in refrigerator. Serve with whipped cream.

 

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2 Responses to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s: Freezing Fresh Pumpkin & Pumpkin Pie

  1. Nancy Cowan says:

    I love this recipe and it sounds easy to make and to keep. On the actual holiday we have all of our local family and “adopted” family; but, sadly all those left overs that don’t go home with others end up going bad. Since I LOVE pumpkin this is perfect for me! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Karen Docter says:

    You’re welcome, Nancy! You can enjoy it as a custard throughout the year. No need to wait for the holidays. I use it in pumpkin bread, cookies, and smoothies, too. I just found a recipe for homemade pumpkin coffee creamer I’m going to have to try since I can only get pumpkin creamer during the holidays.

    It really is easy to freeze fresh pumpkins. It just takes a little time, but that’s free! 🙂

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