Several weeks ago I bought this beautiful castile pumpkin (calabaza de castilla) at the local Hispanic food market. It looked so beautiful at the store that I couldn't resist taking it home. However, the poor pumpkin had been sitting in my pantry since then. Every time I opened the pantry door I felt like it was staring at me anxious to be transformed into something delicious. I did not want to postpone it any longer and yesterday I finally cooked my pumpkin. The pumpkin was quite large so I made pumpkin soup. Sadly, the the soup did not turn out very good; the recipe needs more work. Also, I made two loaves of pumpkin bread and even had some puree left over to store in the freezer for later use.
I sent one of the loaves to my mother-in-law, and the other one we will have it for breakfast this week; alhough, it is so good it might not last very long.
The first thing is to roast the pumpkin to make the puree. Making pumpkin puree is rather simple and the results are so rewarding. The puree keeps well in the freezer (for up to 2 months), so you can have on hand fresh pumpkin puree whenever you need it.
Directions for Pumpkin Puree:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Cut pumpkin in half and remove all the seeds.
2. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper cut sides down and bake for 1 hour or until soft and easily pierced with a fork.2 tablespoons pepitas
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line 1 9X5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ground cloves, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter until pale and fluffy, add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue with the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract. Add the flour in three additions alternating with the buttermilk (flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour).
Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle the top with pepitas. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Cool bread completely on a wire rack.
Leftover pumpkin puree ready to be stored in the freezer. Except for the small container. That is for Mini and Mona. They love pumpkin, too!