I am submitting my November entry early because I cannot bear to think people are going to chuck their Halloween pumpkins into the compost or attend a pumpkin-smashing event to get rid of their creations. As long as your carved pumpkin hasn’t been mauled by wildlife or is going moldy then why not consume it?
What to do:
Take your carved pumpkin and slice it into manageable pieces. Lay the pieces skin side down onto baking dishes with a couple inches of water in them. Bake at 350F until soft and mushy. Then scoop out flesh into a large bowl and cool. Then freeze in 2-cup portions. You can make pumpkin soup, muffins, or pumpkin bread. Here is a great recipe for pumpkin bread that is very moist and also freezes well. I adapted it from Susan Mendelson’s recipe from her 1980 cookbook Mama Never Cooked Like This (which also contains a delicious banana bread recipe). In short – respect your pumpkin! Its use extends far beyond decorating your porch on Halloween night.
Pumpkin Bread (yield: 2 loaves)
2 cups mashed cooked Pemberton-grown pumpkin (no need to puree first)
2.5 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup almond meal
2 cups white sugar
1 cup grapeseed oil
2/3 cup water (can use the water from bottom of pumpkin baking pans)
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
1/5 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom (optional)
Method: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients well in stand mixer. Pour batter into 2 well-greased standard-size bread loaf pans. Bake 60-70 mins. Done when skewer inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean.
**Note: this bread often sticks to the bottom when removing, so grease pans very well and consider flouring the pans too. Silicone loaf pans are a better choice than pyrex.