We all know that homemade always tastes best, so when it comes to our fall baking, don’t be tempted to buy your pumpkin in a can! Pick out a couple of perfect sugar pumpkins, and give those breads, cookies, and pies the best homemade start imaginable!
When picking out the perfect baking pumpkins, remember small is best. Those oversized pumpkins are great for carving jack-o-lanterns with the grandkids, but the most delicious baked goods will come from the box labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” and will weigh only 4-8 pounds.
After choosing your pumpkins, wash and dry well, then scoop out the seeds and “gunk” inside. (Why search for the proper term when we all know it as “gunk?”) You can steam, roast, or bake pumpkins; some even put them in the crockpot or instant pot! Follow these steps for a tasty baked treat that will be the perfect addition to any day of autumn baking!
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the pumpkin halves with oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper (this will enhance that wonderful, nutty flavor!) Transfer to your prepared baking sheet, cut-side-down. Pierce the skin with a fork in 2-3 places on each half to allow for steam to escape.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before scooping out the flesh or peeling away the skin.
- Use in your favorite recipes or puree in a high-speed blender or food processor for homemade pureed pumpkin.
Once you’ve added homemade to your tasty treats, you’ll never return to that canned pumpkin aisle again!