Blogtober | How to: Pumpkin Three Ways
There is no October or Halloween without PUMPKINS! Pumpkins are, without a doubt, a quintessential part of this month. I love, love, love going to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect gourd to take home. I love stabbing said gourd with a sharp serrated knife, ripping its guts out, and lighting its carcass from the inside with tea lights. Additionally, I love sticking the pumpkin’s reproductive units into a hot oven and putting its guts into a blender to puree. While this murderous act can create quite the mess, there is so much you can do with your pumpkin!
For this Blogtober post, I’ll be sharing the three things I did with my pumpkin this year - hence, Pumpkin Three Ways! I know the culinary term “three ways” isn’t exactly accurate here, but it’s shorter than “How to: Carve Your Pumpkin, Roast Your Seeds, and Make Pumpkin Bread”.
1. Pumpkin Carving
Okay, okay - I know this is painfully obvious, but the next two steps depend on this! When you carve your pumpkin, make sure to keep the insides and scrapings! We purchased a carving kit almost identical to this one (found here) and that spoon alone was worth the money. It made cleaning and scraping the cavity sooo much easier than any other kit I’ve used in the past. I highly recommend it!
Behold my totes-adorbs winking pumpkin! It’s sassy - just like me!
2. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Let me begin with a warning - these little buggers are a labor of love. Separating the seeds from the pumpkin’s endocarp requires a bit of patience. You can use a sieve to rinse your seeds but some parts are too chunky to rinse out. Once your seeds are picked and cleaned, everything else is smooth sailing!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put your seeds into a small pot of boiling salted water. Let them cook for about ten minutes. Boiling the seeds is important! It helps prevent the inside of the seed from burning before the outsides are done roasting. I’ve seen recipes that don’t boil, some that recommend leaving them out overnight to dry, and even some that recommending microwave them. Boiling is what works for me.
Strain the seeds and lay them on a paper towel. Pat dry. Add them to a baking sheet.
Drizzle olive oil, salt, and a pinch of pepper onto seeds. Massage them all together and spread back out to evenly distribute across baking sheet.
Pop in the oven for about 12 - 15 minutes.
Let them cool and then snack on them! They should be crispy and delicious!
3. Pumpkin Bread
Y’all - this bread is REALLY good. Being able to say I made it from scratch makes it that much more delicious!
Full Transparency: this is an Alton Brown recipe and it can be found here. It calls for fresh pumpkin and that makes it the perfect recipe for the contents of your carved pumpkin. I am shocked by how delicious this loaf turned out. Even Mr. San Diego, who doesn’t like pumpkin at all, devoured his slices. The top gets a very nice crisp to it and the insides are perfectly moist! This recipe will now be a permanent staple in my October traditions.
As I mentioned earlier, this is not my recipe. Alton Brown is the genius behind it! I’ve listed my notes and tips to help you should you choose to bake this as well!
It was a lot of work to scrape out the inside of the pumpkin, so I only used two cups of fresh pumpkin instead of three. It was perfectly fine without that extra cup. If you use all three cups worth, add more time to your bake.
Instead of using vegetable oil, I used coconut oil because that is what I had on hand. It worked just fine.
Alton’s recipe requires one cup of roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’re an idiot like me, you’ll have added the pumpkin seeds that you just roasted. That is not the right thing to do. While it probably is common sense to most, the recipe (I think) actually wants pepitas. It says pumpkin seeds but in the 3-minute video on the link, you’ll see the pumpkin seeds are green like pepitas. Using regular pumpkin seeds is unpleasant. Don’t be a dummy like me.
Even if you use a nonstick bread pan, line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. It makes it easier to lift out and it keeps it from truly sticking to the bottom if you pull it out a little too soon.
Add at least 10 minutes to the suggested 1 Hour 15 Minutes, even if you only use two cups of pumpkin instead of three.
Even though you won’t want to, you have to let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes but aim for an hour. According to Alton, the starches need to cool down to keep this dense and moist loaf from falling apart.
Add some honey butter onto a warmed slice and enjoy because it is HEAVENLY!
Do you use your pumpkin for more than just carving? Let me know in the comments below!