Make the Most of the Pulp
The thick, bright-orange pulp lining the inside of the pumpkin is the real meat of the matter when it comes to making pies, cakes, bread, soups and most other pumpkin delicacies.
- Using a large spoon or other sharp-edged instrument, scrape and scoop the pulp from inside the pumpkin, working down about an inch or so to the whitish-colored layer beneath the skin. This will leave you with the outer shell to carve as a jack-o'-lantern. If you're not going to use your pumpkin as a lantern, then it's easier to simply slice it as you would a melon and use a knife to peel away the outer skin and white layer.
- Once you've extracted the pulp, steam it over a pot of boiling water for about 30 minutes or longer until it's tender.
- Run the pulp through a food processor to puree or mash it by hand (add a dash of lemon juice to prevent discoloration).
- Freeze in plastic bags or containers to use later.
You can eat cooked pumpkin pulp just like squash, with salt, pepper and butter. Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Cider Bisque
A fall tradition at The House of Cheap.
- Make a cream soup by melting 2 tablespoons butter and mixing in 2 tablespoons flour, and then slowly stir in 2 cups whole milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened.
- Add 1 cup cooked pumpkin puree (see above), and heat through.
- Slowly add 2 cups cider. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream, or cold with apple slices to garnish.
(4 servings; approximate cost per serving: 40 cents)
Pumpkin Milk Shake
Try this one as soon as the pulp cools.
- In a blender, mix 1 cup vanilla ice cream, 1/4 cup milk, 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree and a dash of any or all of the following: pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, nutmeg, rum extract.
(1 serving; approximate cost per serving: 45 cents)
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