Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Processing - Doing It From Scratch!

I've been eyeing my neighbour's mini-pumpkin patch behind her house and it's five perfect flame coloured pumpkins. I'm really too old to raid a pumpkin patch (aren't I?), so I was happy when she offered one up on the condition I not just make a jack-o-lantern out of it. 
I love anything pumpkin, missed it terribly in Istanbul, and am now staying in Naramata, which has the fine distiction of being one of only two Cittaslow communities in Canada!
So let the processing begin!

Love that colour! Ok ,first I scrubbed this baby. 
Notice this isn't a sugar or pie pumpkin, just your average pumpkin pumpkin.

I should say that Turkey does have pumpkins, and last year at this time I watched the little old ladies of Cappadoccia split open pumpkin after pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and throw the rest away! 

Don't believe me?)

Here's a load of scooped gourds headed for the compost! 
(This pic was taken on the street in Goreme.)

I digress! Back to the job at hand. With great effort this thing got split in half. I did it using a rolling pin, a dishtowel and a big knife I wasn't in love with. BANG! BANG! BANG! 

(I also waited till mom wasn't home, for some reason, loud banging in the kitchen distresses her.)

Face down on foil. My mom has a convection oven. (Love the convection oven!) 
Hot air cooks food 25% faster at a lower temp!

Forty-five minutes later...


I let it cool a bit and peeled the skin off leaving just the pulp behind. The pulp got pureed through a blender and produced about 8 cups of pumpkin puree. 

Obviously, this isn't hard, just messy and time consuming. I can see the attraction to canned pumpkin, but this is Cittaslow designated Naramata! No shortcuts here!

Walnut pumpkin muffins. 

The walnuts came from our friend Ricky's huge walnut trees. Keeping with the slow food movement, we collect bags of them every fall, dry them and use a hammer to crack'em. Our fingers get red and tender quickly, so it's best done slowly over a few weeks.

And two thanksgiving pies!

These pies were good, despite not being made from proper pie pumpkins. Would I do this again instead of canned? Actually, yes. 

But not this year. The next pumpkin I process is going to have a candle inside!


  1. I am the one to make pumpking pie at my house, I've made my own lard-based crust before, but have only used canned pumpkin pulp. I think I may try it now that I've seen how you do it. Any tips not in the blog would be helpful! Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks for saving me some! Wish we could process Jackolantern's together. Sniff.

  3. I could see myself trying this some day. Didn't know there were proper pie pumpkins though.
    I like the idea of the Cittaslow communities.