How To Cook A Pumpkin For Pie
Bubba Durand

Update: November 2003 - By Bubba
For an even better pumpkin pie, skip the pumpkin and cook a butternut squash!
They're easier to cook and make a much tastier pie.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Wash the squash and split it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. Bake cut-side-down, uncovered, in a lightly oiled pan for 1 hour or more, until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle.
  5. Scoop the flesh from the halves and puree in a food processor.
Click here for a pumpkin pie recipe...

The following tips are from my friend Todd VanHoogstrate, who makes a mean pumpkin pie.

There are a variety of pumpkins that are supposed to be the best, but I use the same kind I carve for my porch and have great results.

Pies made with fresh baked pumpkin will be lighter in color than the store bought kind. This is because the store bought pies use food coloring to darken.

The boiling method:
Choose a pumpkin that is smoothest on the outside, this will make it easier to peel.
Carve out the top and bottom. Scrape out the seeds and string.
Slice into wedges similar to a melon. Take a potato peeler and scrape the dark skin off of the pumpkin wedges.
Cut wedges into chunks, the smaller the better.
Place the pumpkin chunks into a large pot.
Add water until it is about 1 inch from the top.
Bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer for about 75 minutes.
Strain water out of the pot.
With a scoop, fill a blender with the boiled pumpkin chunks and blend until smooth.
Line a pasta colander with paper towels and pour the pureed pumpkin into the colander.
Repeat this process with the remainder of the boiled pumpkin chunks.
Leave the pureed pumpkin in the colander for about one hour.
Most of the water will drain out leaving smooth creamy pumpkin.
PROS: Yields more pumpkin
CONS: A little more work

The baking method:
Take any pumpkin.
Carve out the top and bottom. Cut in half.
Place in oven at 350 degrees until the pumpkin collapses. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cool.
Scrape the pumpkin from the inside of the halves.
Add to a blender with some water and puree.
Line a colander with paper towels and pour the pureed pumpkin in.
Do this with the remainder of the pumpkin scrapings.
PROS: A litter less work
CONS: Yields less pumpkin

The Johnson Family Cookbook