Pumpkin Puree made from a Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin

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You’re never too old to try something new, and this month for me it was baking off a whole, rather large pumpkin. A Cinderella’s Carriage pumpkin, at that. When I asked our son and farm manager Mike, why he chose to grow this French heirloom variety this year, his answer was because Brent, our produce manager told him he had to as Brent wanted them in the market! So back I went to Brent to find out why he was so fond of this variety. In his own words “even though they’re very big, they are easy to cut open and you get lots of flavourful, non-stringy flesh with very little water. The flesh is so soft after baking that all you need to do is give it a light mash, no messy food processor or blender required” So I toted home a large pumpkin to try for myself, and he was right!

Here’s the very simple instructions. As pumpkin flesh is dense and low-acid, it’s not safe for home canning, even if you would use a pressure canner. But freezing it means you’ll have it available all year long for muffins and pies. Lepp Farm grown pumpkins are “spray-free” as we don’t use any pesticides or herbicides on the plants or fruit.

Ingredients

One large Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a large, sharp chef’s knife, cut the pumpkin into quarters or four even slices.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Or, if you’re ambitious, save them and roast them off later.
  4. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and place pumpkin cut side down. No oiling or seasoning required.
  5. Bake for approximately one hour, or until fork tender, like a very soft baked potato. If you only have a small oven, you may need to do this in stages but you can stack the sheets on multiple racks.
  6. Remove from oven and let sit until cool until to handle.
  7. Remove soft flesh with a spoon into a large bowl, and mash with a potato masher. The flesh is not stringy at all and mashes to a smooth texture with very little effort.
  8. Tip the bowl and drain off any accumulated juices.
  9. Place 1 ¾ cup pumpkin puree  (about 15 ounces, which is how much is in a purchased can) into individual freezer zip-lock bags, lay flat and push out as much air as possible.  Label and place into freezer.

One average sized Cinderella pumpkin yields about eight 15 ounce bags of pumpkin puree.  Toss it in the freezer, and you’re set for your fall baking this year! Just bring out a bag when your recipe calls for a tin of pumpkin puree.