by George Kringas
The toughest part of the pumpkin pie filling by far is breaking down the pumpkin (especially if its a big pumpkin, which of course was the one I was working with ).
Once I chopped the pieces down small enough to peel I started moving along a little faster, but still had trouble with the hard skin. Peeled and deseeded, I chopped the pumpkin into 1inch X 1inch cubes, spread them out onto a lightly oiled sheet pan and threw them into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the pieces were cooked all the way through.I let the pumpkin cool down a little and threw them into the food processor until I had a smooth pumpkin purée, this took about 2-3 minutes. Pretty shocking how much you get out of one big pumpkin! Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of pumpkin pies.
LOL…after writing this I googled breaking down a pumpkin and came across an article which advised to bake the pumpkin wedges skin on which allows the skin to peel off very easily. It was a good article anyway, here’s the link http://bit.ly/3tes4. Oh well at least I got some good practice in with the pairing knife.
George enrolled in The French Culinary Institute in NYC and he’s also the co-owner with his family of NIKO’S Greek Restaurant in White Plains. An Artist at heart and by training who decided to blend his skills and tap into his creativity to create a whole new cuisine blending French, Greek and his Mothers original family recipes. Visit his website http://greekculinary.com/ and learn a thing or two about Greek Cuisine and keep an eye on this upcoming Chef, already cooking at NIKOS and now refining his skills at The French Culinary Institute in NYC.