It’s that time of year…the pumpkin patches are in full swing. Now that our kids are older – they would be mortified at the thought of “The Parents’ taking them to pick out a pumpkin. Since we no longer bring the camera to take pictures of the kids petting the goats – or after a messy crawl through the hay and corn maze – it’s time to switch gears as parents and take a new perspective of what else a pumpkin patch has to offer.
Perhaps we should look at the pumpkin patch as on fresh fall grocery store! Like picking up a fresh batch of honey made from the on-site bee hives – or even better – picking out the best pie pumpkins we can find. The kids might not want to be seen with us at the pumpkin patch now, but rest assure they aren’t shy about eating what is made as a result of our trip there.
A lot of people are hesitant to use pie pumpkins- mainly because they are unsure of how to make the pumpkin puree found in cans at the grocery store. Let me tell you — it’s MUCH easier than you think. If you have a microwave, stove, or an oven – you can make your own pumpkin puree – and the taste is as fresh as it can get!
I used the stove top method, mainly just out of personal preference to make the puree for the Pumpkin Roll.
How to Make Pumpkin Puree from a Pie Pumpkin
1. Make sure you purchase a PIE pumpkin. The pumpkins you carve are not made for eating…only decorating. Pie pumpkins are much smaller and are perfect for making puree.
2. Cut your pumpkin into quarters – This might be a little difficult to cut — I have found that it is easiest (and safest) to using a serrated knife to start your cut, and then switch to a standard butcher knife to finish cutting through the pumpkin.
3. Place your pumpkin pieces into a double broiler/steamer. Make sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of your pumpkin. Place a lid on it and steam it for 15-20 minutes.
4. Carefully remove the hot pumpkin quarters, one at a time, onto a large cutting board with the skin side down.
5. Use a large spoon to scoop out the pumpkin away from the rind and place it in a medium-sized bowl. This should separate easily – if not, return it to the steamer for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Use a hand blender to puree your pumpkin mixture.
7. Let cool – this can be frozen for later use.
Now, what to do with that pumpkin puree? Of course, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, etc…. but one of the special treats this time of year at our house is the Pumpkin Roll. This is a great housewarming or holiday treat over the holidays as well. I guarantee the kids will be glad that Jim and I went to the pumpkin patch!
Pumpkin Roll Recipe
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup pie pumpkin puree (or canned pure pumpkin – NOT pie filling)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. soft butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix above ingredients together until blended well. On a standard cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, place wax paper over the entire cookie sheet. Grease the wax paper on the bottom and the sides, making sure to grease the whole surface area.
Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Bake 15 min. or until golden brown.
In the mean time, mix ingredients for the filling and set aside. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto an opened tea towel.
Once you have removed the cake from the oven, flip cookie sheet on top of the tea towel, so that the cake is now laying with the wax paper facing upward. Carefully remove the wax paper. Roll the cake into tea-towel starting at the short end.
Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Unroll & spread the filling to about an inch from the edge of the cake. Carefully re-roll the cake and filling mixture to make your pumpkin roll. Let cool before eating.
Mary and Jim
**Just in case you are wondering what a tea towel is…..
A tea towel is a small piece of linen which is often used for drying dishes or cutlery. The cloth is made of a simple weave, not looped terry. Historically it is used to spread over a tea tray to absorb any spills or catch crumbs. Others use it as a blanket over warm scones or a hot tea pot, so it insulates the heat and keeps it at the right temperature over the course of a meal. You can find them at your standard home goods store.