Now that it’s officially fall, it’s all about pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cakes, cookies, donuts – and let’s not forget good old pumpkin pie, shall we? The (seemingly) quickest way to incorporate pumpkin into baking is to use canned pumpkin. You can get this non-perishable in pretty much any store and it’s a great hack for pumpkin recipes. But what if you want your pumpkin pie to be extra fresh and healthy this year? Your best bet is to use a fresh pumpkin picked right from the patch.
While getting natural pumpkin right from the source might sound like the best way to go, we can all admit that we don’t really know HOW we could go about using that fresh pumpkin in our baking. It might be a little known fact to some, but there is flesh inside the tough skin of the squash (yes, pumpkin is actually a squash) that we can shred up and use. But coming to that realization only seems to be the tip of the iceberg.
Its tough exterior and abundance of seeds make the job of using fresh pumpkin seem like a laborious one – one that many of us don’t have the time, patience, or skill for. You might not even be able to picture how you would go about this job at all.
We’re here to tell you, that’s not the case! This task may seem intimidating, but there is an easy way to prep a fresh pumpkin for baking. In just a few simple steps, and with a few simple tools, you can have your pumpkin skinned, seeded, and ready to go. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions below!
How To Skin, Seed, and Cut a Pumpkin
- Very sharp chef’s knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Start by using your sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half, right by the side of the stem. One side will be larger than the other and that’s okay!
- Use your spoon to scoop out the seeds from both halves.
- Cut the half with the stem in half one more time, again right next to the stem.
- Remove the stem and the tough bit on the bottom of the pumpkin.
- Use your vegetable peeler to remove the skin from all three parts of the pumpkin.
- To cut into cubes, slice the pumpkin vertically all the way down. The pieces should look like half-circles. Line the half-circles up and start chopping from one end; the result are cubes perfect for puree, soup, risotto, stew, and stir-fry.
There you have it! A simple method for prepping a fresh pumpkin. Now that you know the secrets, don’t hold back! You can use pumpkin to create a medley of delicious fall and winter dishes like vegetarian pies, curries, casseroles, jams, chutneys, and much, much more.
What do you think of this simple method for skinning, seeding, and chopping a pumpkin? Share your thoughts on this technique, or techniques you prefer, in the comments section below.