Now, if those sound like a lot of hard work, well, they were. It is hard work making things from scratch, but usually well worth it. The ice creams have been super delicious and I will post pictures of them at the end of this post.
My friend Diane from work gave me three pie pumpkins because she knows I like to make things from scratch. (Well, 'like' and 'feel compelled' are two different things). These are a special type of small, round, extremely hard pumpkin that have a sweeter, less grainy flesh than your typical 10 lb Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. They are also called sugar pumpkins. I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Ice cream, in honor of Thanksgiving.
I have never made my own pumpkin puree before. I have baked sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, acorn squash, and all manner of other vegetables, so I figured it couldn't be that different. I got out my cutting board and a big knife, and easily cut the first pie pumpkin in half.
Haha, yeah no. These things are like diamonds. I barely made a dent with my first knife stroke, or my second or third. In fact, my knife slid right off the rind and just missed my thumb. I put the knife down and stared at the pumpkin.
I picked up the knife and this time assumed a stabbing hold with it. (You know, think horror movie). I took a deep breath and stabbed the pumpkin. The knife penetrated the pumpkin about 3/4 of an inch. I rocked it back and forth, and instead of actually cutting the pumpkin, it started to split. I repeated this several times until finally the pumpkin cracked in half.
These pumpkins are chock full of seeds, and as the pumpkin split open, the seeds flew everywhere. I sighed but ignored this fact as I took the pumpkin over to the trash to scrape out the seeds and stringy flesh. The flesh is really attached to the pumpkin. It does not want to be separated, I'm telling you. As I'm standing there scraping out the flesh, the pumpkin slipped out of my hand, fell down, down down, and landed smack dab in the middle of the cat's water fountain. I saw it in slow motion. SPLASH!! Pumpkin seeds, stringy flesh, and cat-spit everywhere. My kitchen looked like an SNL skit.
By now I was really annoyed. It took over 30 minutes just to halve three puny little pumpkins and remove the seeds. Finally I got them in the oven.
After they baked for about 40 minutes, I took them out and skeptically took a spoon to the flesh. My surprise, it was actually soft! I pureed the flesh in a food processor and put it in the fridge. It looks, and tastes, like baby food.
I needed 3/4 cup for the ice cream, and the rest I decided to use in a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving came and went. Well, that makes it sound like nothing but an ordinary Thursday. We had a lovely Thanksgiving with our friends Brittney and Dave.Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a no frills celebration of food and feeling thankful. I have lots to be thankful for this season. For one thing, homemade pumpkin spice ice cream. The ice cream tastes like frozen pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie was good, but not much better than a pie made from entirely canned pumpkin. The verdict: no more pumpkin roasting for me.
|Vanilla Bean with Oatmeal Cookie|
|Chocolate bar for Buckeye State|
|Pistachio-Cream Cheese Paste|
|Pumpkin Spice with homemade whipped cream and Pumpkin Syrup|