OVEN-COOKING BAG: Cut the pumpkin in halves, quarters or large chunks.
Scrape out the seeds and strings. Place pumpkin pieces, cut side down, in a 16x10 or 14x10 oven cooking bag. Close the bag with a twist tie and make 6 (½") slits in the top near the twist tie. Bake at 350~ 45 to 60 minutes, or until the pumpkin collapses. When cool enough to handle, carefully remove the peel from the pumpkin meat, and pure the meat in a blender or food processor. RANGE TOP: Halve the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and fibers. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces, then peel each piece with a vegetable peeler. Cut pieces into ½" cubes. Place cubes in a large, heavy saucepan and cover with about 1" cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until tender, 10 to 15 minutes (larger pieces may take 20 to 25 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Drain and mash, or process in food processor with a little cooking liquid to moisten. If desired, add a little margarine and seasonings (salt, black pepper, dried thyme, etc.) and heat until margarine melts. OVEN BAKING: Preheat oven to 350~. Halve pumpkin. Remove the seeds and fibers. Cut into 2" pieces and peel. Put peeled pieces in a shallow baking dish, and brush with melted margarine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until tender, brushing several times with margarine. Serve as a vegetable.
MICROWAVE: Weigh pumpkin to determine the correct timing; allow 7 minutes per pound. For a medium-size pumpkin, cut it in half vertically, then scoop out the seeds and fibers. Place one half, cut side down, in a 12x8 microwavable baking dish. Microwave on high, uncovered, 18 to 22 minutes, or until tender, rotating dish once or twice during cooking time. Repeat procedure for the other half. Cool until easy to handle. Scoop out pulp and place in a blender or food processor. Puree at medium speed until smooth.
Like prune puree and applesauce, pumpkin puree can serve as a fat substitute in breads, muffins and cakes, according to Sandra Woodruff, author of Secrets of Fat-Free Baking. Woodruff says to increase the amount of pumpkin as you eliminate fat. For half the butter, margarine or other solid shortening in cookies, substitute three-fourths as much pumpkin (i.e., if a recipe calls for 1 c butter, use ½ c butter and 4 to 6 tb mashed pumpkin). Bake reduced-fat and fat-free cookies at 275 to 300~.
NOTE: If puree is watery, simmer over low heat in a heavy-bottom pan instead of draining off liquid; draining removes much of the flavor.
Source: The Houston Chronicle. MM Waldine Van Geffen vghc42a@....
Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by "M. Hicks" <nitro_ii@...> on Feb 4, 1998
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