One night I came home and saw a pumpkin sitting on our dining room table. It was a surprise from my husband. He said that he wanted me to do something with it. I did some research and found a website that shows how to clean, cook and puree pumpkin meat. You can find help here to do the same: www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org. It's suggested that you use a small pie pumpkin, but I went ahead and used the large pumpkin we had. From my pumpkin, I got 8 cups of pureed pumpkin meat. I decided to put 2 cups in each bag and freeze them so that they would be ready to go when I was ready to use them. I left one bag out and decided to make praline pumpkin pie. It turned out so delicious! Here's the recipe:
Praline Pumpkin Pie
(8-9" pie pan)
prepared graham cracker crust
For the praline:
1/2 c. chopped pecans/nuts
6 Tbsp. margarine
1/3 c. brown sugar
For the filling:
1 c. milk
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 lb. canned pumpkin or 2 c. homemade pureed pumpkin, drained
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
8 oz. whipped topping (divided)
Boil praline ingredients for 30 seconds and spread on crust. Blend milk with pudding mix for a minute. Stir in pumpkin and spice until blended. Gently stir in just over 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spread over praline. Refrigerate until set. Garnish with remaining topping and nuts or spice.
My husband and I enjoyed a slice of pie with a cup of hot cocoa--delicious! Here are some other ways to enjoy the process of making this pie and using the rest of your pumpkin.
1. Include kids in the process of cooking the pumpkin meat. Some are not ready to handle knives, but they can definitely peel off the skin and press the start button on the blender.
2. Have the kids try the pumpkin puree before and after it is sweetened. Ask them which way they like it better. (most likely the sweetened version:)
3. Have family members clean and cook the pumpkin seeds. You can add garlic salt for a salty version or use a cinnamon-sugar mixture to satisfy that sweet tooth.
4. Consider saving some seeds to plant so you can grow your own pumpkins.
5. Pumpkin puree can be used for other things besides pie: breads, cakes, cookies and even in main dishes. It's healthy for you, so think creatively into how you can incorporate pumpkin into your diet. I used pumpkin in a chili this fall and it was sooo good!