Roasted Pumpkin Pies "In the Shell"



We have been cooking a lot of butternut squash, and other squashes lately on the Big Green Egg (BGE).  While at the grocer today, I saw that they had pumpkins which they called "Pie Pumpkins", and they were just larger than a softball.  Wow!  Wonder how they'd turn out cooked on the BGE, so I picked up a couple.




Aren't they just "TOO" cute?

I had to just visualize my final presentation on the way home, and knew that I would HAVE to do this tonight for curiosity sake.  Whatever I'm cooking, scratch or modifying a recipe, I have to have my presentation figured out to know where I'm headed.  (Throw that out the window tonight, as Kimberly added the 'finishing touch', as you'll see and it was one I wouldn't have thought of in a Billion years, but it WAS the finishing touch.)

After firing up the BGE to let it stabilize to temp, I began the prep of the pumpkins.  My presentation idea had to have the stem on the pumpkin, so I sliced it vertically down the middle of the stem.  This method gave me two halves, both with a stem.  We've cooked pumpkin before, and always roast the seeds.  Kimberly was hard at work at that harvest, and took on the roasting in the oven.

Sidetrack for a moment on the roasted seeds.  Kimberly did them in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, but start checking them at no more than 15 minutes.  Simply put them in a bowl.  Separate and remove any pumpkin meat and strings, pour in a couple of teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO),  and mix well.  Dip them out onto a baking pan or tray, and sprinkle them with sea salt.  A paper towel in the pan helps soak up the excess EVOO.  HARVESTING OF THE SEEDS PROVED ESSENTIAL TO THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS, AS YOU WILL SEE!


I could eat my weight in these little babies...

So after Kimberly harvested the seeds, I simply brushed the raw open insides of both halves with EVOO and placed them face down upon the BGE, stabilized at around 325.  Leave them there for about 10 minutes, then check them every few minutes until you have the 'char' which you find attractive.


Straight from the BGE

At that point, simple turn the halves upright, with the centers facing up.  Cooking time is going to vary here, but at this temperature, it's probably another 35-45 minutes.  Whether you are cooking these on a komado style cooker,  charcoal or gas grille, or kitchen oven all play into cooking time, as does temperature variations and the density of the veggie itself.  Sooooo....

Second sidetrack.  We have learned from cooking with the BGE that, as a result, you get a very interesting but pleasing addition to food aroma and taste just from the fact that it was done over open flames.  Just can't get that in a kitchen oven.  It's a very special 'spice it up' addition to vegetables and fruits, because no one expects it.

Here's what you are looking for!  Using a pair of tongs or a spoon, you want to be able to easily push it into the flesh, all the way to the shell, and be able to twist and have the flesh move with you.

In the photo above, you can see in the right one where I pressed in the tongs and twisted.

Sometime while the pumpkins are roasting, you can prepare your seasoning mix in a bowl.  I used about 1/4 to 1/3 cup each of dark brown sugar and regular granulated sugar.  We use fresh if can, so I grated about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg into the sugars, and mixed it all up with a fork.  Use either a fork or small whisk, as you want the brown sugar separated and all mixed thoroughly.

Okay.  Halves are off of the heat and you're at the kitchen.

Kimberly jumped in here, again.  I had bought fresh whipping cream for another recipe, and she volunteered to 'whip it up' for me.  For this service, she poured in about a cup of heavy cream, two to three tablespoons of sugar, or sweeten to taste, about a half teaspoon of 'good' vanilla, and about 1/8th teaspoon of cream of tartar.  Into the mixer, then retire it to the refrigerator.

For the pumpkins, I poured about half of my spice mixture into each half, then with my tongs, I started coring out the inside, same as you would an avocado, baked potato, etc.  Serving spoons work equally well.  After coring, but before mixing, since we have the heavy whipping cream, I poured about a quarter cup into each half.  Then just whip them up.  Better to go light on the cream, then add a bit as needed.  You can always add.  You can NEVER retreat.  What you are looking for here is for the halve to look like it is full of orange whipped/mashed potatoes.

Don't be afraid of the char around the edge of the pumpkin, nor char marks on the flesh itself.  You are actually wanting some of that char in your finished pumpkin flesh.  It does several things.  It adds flavor, teases the palate, and adds visually to the presentation.


Here is the proper look after whipping.  Leaving a little bit of pulp instead of a complete puree greatly enhances the palate appeal.

Using your tongs or spoon, well out the middle, or more pleasant presentation, an area up near the stem.  Here you add a big 'dollop' of that whipped cream which Kimberly just prepared.  

And HERE is why the roasted seeds are so important.  To this point, you have a slightly sweet pie, topped with a slightly sweet whipped cream.  The roasted, crunchy, and salted pumpkin seeds, as Kimberly casually garnished the 'pies', added just the perfect amount of 'crunch' and 'salt' to the entire dessert.



ENJOY!!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RECIPE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RECIPE is expandable as is.  Just double the original ingredients for each extra pumpkin.

INGREDIENTS

One pie sized pumpkin
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
2/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
One whole Nutmeg
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 Teaspoon Real Vanilla Flavoring

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin by slicing the pumpkin in a vertical fashion.  If you have a stem on the pumpkin, slide down midway through it, and all the way through.  If no stem, still slice vertically.  Using tongs or a spoon, scoop out all of the seeds from both cavities.  

Next, 'clean up' the seeds by removing all stray pumpkin meat and strings.  Placing the seeds in a bowl, drizzle some EVOO over them and toss so that the seeds are fully covered.  Place a paper towel in a baking pan and spread the seeds evenly thereon.  Sprinkle as much sea salt on the seeds as you prefer, and place into a heated oven at 350 degrees for around 15-20 minutes.  Times vary due to seed sizes, but start checking at no more than 15 minutes.  A good indication is a nice golden brown.  Taste test a couple.  You are looking for a nice crunch, but no taste or indication of being overdone.

Next comes your cooking weapon of choice.  You can cook the pumpkin in a komado style cooker (i.e. BGE), open grille, oven, or covered grille.  Whatever method you choose, you are looking for a stabilized grid temperature of ~325 degrees. 

While your cooking apparatus comes up to temp, prepare your spice mix.  I used about 1/4 to 1/3 cup each of dark brown sugar and regular granulated sugar.  We use fresh if can, so I grated about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg into the sugars, and mixed it all up with a fork.  Use either a fork or small whisk, as you want the brown sugar separated and all mixed thoroughly.  Set aside.

Also prep the whipped cream at this time and place in the refrigerator (or while the pumpkins are cooking.)  Into your mixer bowl, pour about a cup of heavy cream, two to three tablespoons of sugar, or sweeten to taste, about a half teaspoon of 'good' vanilla, and about 1/8th teaspoon of cream of tartar.

 Coat the interior exposed surface of each half with EVOO and place face down on the grille.  (If using a kitchen oven, SKIP this step.)  Leave for around 10-15 minutes, checking after 10 for some good grid markings.  If you are getting more char than just grid markings at 10 minutes, you are cooking too hot.  Once you have some good grid markings, and maybe a little char, turn the pumpkin halves face up and continue to cook for another 35-40 minutes.  To test doneness, use tongs or a spoon and press into the pulp in the center.  When the pumpkin is done, you can press the tongs (spoon) all the way to the shell and twist, with the pumpkin flesh easily moving, like a mashed potato.
At this point, remove the halves with tongs, and retreat to the prep table.

Using your tongs or a serving spoon, scoop the meat from the skin, so that you have loosened it all up in the shell.  Add 1/2 of your spice mix to each half and add about a 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream into each half.  Then just whip them up.  Better to go light on the cream, then add a bit as needed.  You can always add.  You can NEVER retreat.  What you are looking for here is for the halve to look like it is full of orange whipped/mashed potatoes.

Using your tongs or spoon, create a crater off center, near stem, and place a good 'dollop' of whipped cream into the cavity and garnish with some roasted pumpkin seeds.  Serve on a dessert plate!

ENJOY!!!








Popular Posts

Image

Stovall's Beans

Image

Scotch Egg