Baking a pumpkin: the best way for keeping all its good flavours

Pies, gnocchi, soups, ravioli, creams, risotto, quiche, bread … there are so many things you can make with pumpkins! And each recipe, say the experts, would need its specific type of pumpkin. Mostly because people developed their recipes to get the best out of each local cultivar.

Why baking it whole?

Baking the hole unpeeled pumpkin is a good way of preserving the flavours of its meat: it will cook in its own liquors, keeping its own humidity and not drying and browning as if it was exposed to direct heat, or getting soaked by boiling water. Steaming is a good choice too, but you would need to cut it in chunks, peel it and scoop away all it’s seeds which are instead very rich of flavours and oils themselves.
Also, it will be extremely easy to peel the pumpkin, saving all its meat for your recipes.

The method

Kitchen paper or a towel
Olive oil
One baking tray
One backing paper sheet
One spit or skewer or similar
One chopping board
One chef knife or paring knife

baked pumpkin

STEP 1) Oiling and piercing the pumpkin

Set the oven to 180°C and start heating it.
Roughly wash the pumpkin and dry it. Pour some olive oil on the top and spread it al over Pierce the pumpkin’s top in several points with a spit or a skewer – or similar – running it through the meat and reaching the hollow centre: this will allow the steam to exit gradually without expanding and cracking the pumpkin (it would literally explode otherwise!).

 

baked pumpkin

STEP 2) Baking the pumpkin

Bake the pumpkin for about 60-70 minutes, according to how big it is.
Take the pumpkin out if the oven and cut it in quarters. Let it cool down completely.

baked pumpkin

STEP 3) Peeling the pumpkin

Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the stringy core. Then cut it in smaller wedges and and peel them using a chef knife or paring knife.

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