From assorted versions of pumpkin pies to martinis & face scrubs. I’ve been reading many interesting pumpkin recipes of late. It’s the season, no? I thought that it might be fun to dig up some information on the Great Pumpkin.
What they are
Pumpkins are native to the Americas and are actually a type of squash that are considered to be a fruit by many sources, although this seems to be a debatable fact. They can weigh from less then a pound to over a ton. They come in colors from white, beige, green, yellow, red and any combination in between. Their shapes can be oval, round, crooked and stacked with wart like bumps and large humps.
The Pilgrims’ Pumpkin Pie
The pie that that the Pilgrims prepared for Thanksgiving wasn’t made with the flaky pie pastry that we long for at our holiday meal. The pumpkin was the crust. Pumpkins were cut open from the top (as we do for jack o’ lanterns) then hollowed out.
A mixture of cream, eggs, honey or maple syrup and spices were then poured into the pumpkins cavity. The cover was placed back on the the top and the pumpkin was set in hot ashes to cook. When served, the Pilgrims and Native Americans had something that tasted very similar to the pumpkin pie which we enjoy today- consider it a deconstructed pumpkin pie.
If it Says Libby’s Libby’s Libby’s on the Label Label Label...
Libby’s has their own high bred pumpkin that they use. Aa a matter of fact, 80% of the production of pumpkins in the US comes from Illinois. Libby is responsible for nearly 90% of all canned pumpkin product in North America.
How to make homemade pumpkin filling
If you’d like to make your own pumpkin filling, choose a 3 to 10 pound pumpkin that has sweet, smooth flesh,and is generous in flavor. Sometimes labeled as Sugar Pumpkin or cooking pumpkins, there are many names to choose from. Most have a high yield for their size and lower moisture content and are stringless.
As a matter of fact, those large pumpkins, usually 10 to 25 pounds which are are used for Jack O’ Lanterns, although edible, are watery, bland and full of stringy guts. They are pretty much a waste of time and effort for cooking, except for the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds can be quite yummy and they are incredibly simple to prepare.
- Just rinse, pat dry and spread on a buttered or oiled baking sheet with a light sprinkle of salt.
- Bake at 300* for about ½ an hour.
- Give them a stir, put back in the oven & give them another 20 minutes or so until golden and crispy.
You don’t have to stop there, though. You can sprinkle with
- granulated garlic
- curry, brown sugar
- cinnamon or
- anything you might have a hankering for.
Finally, if you don’t feel like making your own filling for pumpkin pie, don’t fret. One of our best foodie friends and the lady behind Cooking on a Budget, just happens to have one of the most popular pumpkin pie recipes this side of Plymouth Rock. This is a pumpkin pie filling that you are sure to love!