As well as all the excitement of carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns every October,
it is the season for me to take out last year's pumpkin mush from the freezer and make a few batches of muffins. These get decorated as jack-o-lanterns too and get sent into school and/or Girl Guides with my daughter for her and her friends. If I have enough mush, I can make additional batches of muffins for sharing around elsewhere.
So after Hallowe'en night, the carved pumpkins get chopped and peeled and cut up into small cubes or rectangles.
A large orange (or several small ones or clementines) and a lemon are peeled and juiced. The juice and a tiny bit of water are added to the pot of pumpkin cubes (the pumpkin release a lot of water when cooking). The peel is cut into slivers
and added to the pot. Cook this gently on low-medium heat, stirring periodically, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
When all the pumpkin is cooked, it is soft enough to be mashed. Tilt the pot a bit to see how much liquid there is; if there is a lot of liquid, raise the heat to boil some of it off,
The pumpkin mush needs to be moist in order to give moisture and flavour to future pumpkin muffins. I will give the recipe for the muffins in another post, but if you can't wait, use pumpkin mush in the same recipes that you use for carrot cake or banana bread. Compare the picture below to the picture above to get an idea of how much liquid should not be left in the final mush.
I packed the mush into equal size freezer bags. In the past I have used weights of 350 g and 500 g, which also work fine in my recipes for muffins, and also in pumpkin pie (I'll give a recipe for that in a future post too). So it is a little bit random that these packs are 450 g but I figured it was a reasonable amount when I was packing and weighing. I put the 3 bags of mush into an additional freezer bag but will only use one bag at a time. One bag of mush will happily be used in a recipe that makes about 5 dozen small muffins or 2 pies.