Fall is a wonderful season for cooking as all the harvest vegetables are available in the grocery stores and you know they are likely local. Once the pie pumpkins start showing up at the grocery store, I go through a period of a couple months when I am adding pumpkin to many different dishes. Pumpkin has a wonderful flavor and it is especially good as the classic pie or just pureed with some sugar and spices. The sous vide is a great way to cook the pumpkin as it retains all the juices, flavor and nutrients. I add the butter, brown sugar and spices to the bag so that it all works into the pumpkin while it is in the water bath.
The small pie pumpkins are far sweeter than the larger ones and they are perfect for eating. The pumpkin should be around 4-5 pounds in weight. Remove all the seeds and slime on the inside and peel/cut off the outer skin. Slice the pumpkin into 1 inch wedges.
Make sure that the pumpkin slices are not stacked on top of each other. They need to be in one flat layer as seen in the picture above. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture all over the pumpkin and don’t forget to add the butter. Vacuum seal the bag and it is ready to go in the Sous Vide Supreme! The sous vide needs to be set for 180F.
After 2-3 hours the pumpkin should be soft. The time for cooking it in the sous vide will vary depending on the thickness of the pumpkin slices. Squeeze one wedge and if it mushes from the pressure of your finger then they are fully cooked and ready to be pureed.
You can puree the pumpkin with a potato masher, electric mixer or hand blender. A potato masher will keep it a little chunkier and the electric mixer/blender will puree it quite smooth. This can be served as a side dish or used to make pumpkin pie. It can also be spread on the bottom of a casserole dish and covered with marshmallows. Then it can be baked in the oven until the marshmallows are toasted.
Remove from the water bath. Cut bag and dump pumpkin and the liquid in the bag into a bowl. Puree using a stand mixer, potato masher or hand blender.
Serve as a side dish or use for pie filling (instructions to make pumpkin pie below).
To make pumpkin pie Mix 2¼ cups pumpkin puree with 1¼ cups heavy cream and 3 eggs until smooth. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake in a 400F oven for 10 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the sides have puffed up and the middle has very little wiggle when the pie is gently shaken back and forth.