When people think of using pumpkin in food, the first thing that comes to their minds is the canned pureed pumpkin stocked at the local supermarkets. Canned pumpkin is great in a pinch, but with Halloween right around the corner, fresh pumpkins are as abundant as ever, so of course now is the time to take advantage of this seasonal fruit!
I went to the local pumpkin patch and stocked up on some pumpkins to use for a pie, but then I was struck with an idea: candying the pumpkin. With a bit of sugar, dash of cinnamon and some orange zest, I transformed the pumpkin into the most delicious, festive squash I’ve ever had— subtly sweet, super creamy and just flat out delicious. I used this candied pumpkin to make my pumpkin pie, and the result was a pie that tasted naturally sweet and had a wonderfully smooth, custard-like filling. My pumpkin pie recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook, Beach House Baking.
If you’re making pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, I highly recommend buying a pumpkin and candying it first before making your pie. Candying pumpkin is so easy and will make your pie filling phenomenal, I promise!
- Cut stem off of pumpkin. Cut pumpkin in half. Remove seeds and string. Cut each halve into 4 to 5 wedges. Halve each wedge to get approximately 2-inch long pieces.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water, brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the pumpkin pieces. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until pumpkin is fork tender. Remove from heat and let pumpkin cool in the syrup at room temperature.