Sharing my version of cooking a pumpkin, roasting the seeds, and my recipe for mini pumpkin pies.
Oh, how I love pumpkin!
Cooking a Pie Pumpkin from the grocery store:
Wash your pumpkin and dry. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and extra string-y-ness.
Wrap each half with foil, just like you would for a baked potato. Cook in a 350 - 375 degree oven for about an hour. Remove pumpkin from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Scrape out the soft, cooked pumpkin with a spoon and mash with a fork on a plate, or pulse through a food processor until it's the consistency you desire.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse pumpkin seeds under running water. In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a four sided sheet pan. Spread the seeds out over the pan, all in one layer. If desired, sprinkle seeds with a little kosher salt to give them a little extra crunch. Bake on the top rack for 20 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating.
Mini Pumpkin Pies:
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. plus 2 T. shortening
3 to 4 T. cold water
In a medium size bowl, mix flour and salt. Add shortening and cut in using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in enough water to make a nice dough and mix just until incorporated. Scoop out 1/2 T. size balls of dough and press into mini muffin pan to create the mini crusts for the pies. Repeat until you run out of dough. Set aside.
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. carnation sweetened condensed milk
Whisk all ingredients together until nice and smooth. Pour into mini crusts and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy with whipped cream or all by themselves.
*NOTE: If you wish to make a larger pie, double the filling recipe. I only make half when making the mini pies since you don't need as much for them. The crust recipe above will create one large pie crust.