It’s that time of year when the weather turns cooler and we turn our thoughts to pumpkins, pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin bread. Those delicious orange globes are not just for making jack-o-lanterns. With a solar oven, it is easy to turn those big beauty’s into a fresh homemade puree to use in all those wonderful goodies. So why buy a can of pumpkin mash when it is so easy to make your own? And you don’t even need a fancy store bought solar oven to work the magic. Several years ago, I showed how to bake pumpkin in a very inexpensive solar oven, but you could substitute a solar device made out of a windshield screen and get the same results.
Baking a pumpkin in the solar oven is the easiest way to bake a pumpkin or other large squash. And it doesn’t heat up the kitchen. I like to use a small pumpkin usually sold to make jack-o-lanterns, but a cooking pumpkin could certainly be used as well.
This time, I used a GSO. In order to fit the pumpkin into the GSO, I had to do things a little differently than before. I cut the top off, and cleaned out the inside of the pumpkin. Then I inverted the pumpkin over the fusion roaster.
It takes a full day of sun to bake a pumpkin, so start early. Remember to keep the oven turned toward the sun. If you find, at the end of the day, that your pumpkin is not fully cooked – hazy or cloudy day
rolled in, got busy and forgot to keep it angled to the sun — just refrigerate the pumpkin overnight and put back out the following day.
After cooking, the peel will usually peel right off, but if not, it is very easily sliced off with a knife. Cut the soft pumpkin meat into chunks. Any juice in the pan can be added to the pumpkin chunks. Then use a mixer, stick mixer, or blender to mash the chunks into a thick puree. Peeling and mashing takes less than 30 minutes.
The mashed pulp can be used in any standard recipe calling for canned pumpkin in equal proportions. (1 cup pulp = 1 cup canned). However, I
generally increase the spices called for in the recipe by 1/4 to 1/2 ( 1 tsp in recipe = 1.25 tsp or 1.5 tsp) depending on your taste. This compensates for spices added to canned pumpk
in by the manufacturer.
By baking and mashing your own pumpkin puree, you know there are no additives, just pure pumpkin. Perfect for any recipe. And it freezes well too.
- How to Puree Pumpkin + Pumpkin Chai Latte (zenfemi.wordpress.com)
- Preparing Pumpkins (kitchenexcavation.wordpress.com)