Another heirloom: the Brown Long Neck pumpkin. This crook-neck pumpkin makes an excellent pumpkin bread or pie. The Brown Long Neck is the pumpkin used by our regional Amish for their markets’ baked goods.
The neck is solid pumpkin used for cooking and the color of the flesh is a beautiful orange. The rounded end contains a hollow cavity with pumpkin and the pumpkin’s seeds. If you are a seed saver, you will need to scoop them out and dry them for next year’s garden.
To process the Brown Long Neck pumpkin for cooking, cut the neck into manageable sections.
Slice through the hollow cavity and then cut in half.
Scoop seeds and any attached pulp and discard pulp, saving seeds. (If you have chickens or a compost pile, you know to reserve this pulp for another use. And chickens absolutely love pumpkins seeds!)
Peel the tan-colored skin off of each cut piece, then cut into smaller chunks. Place all chunks in covered kettle to slowly cook until very soft and tender. Add a small amount of water so that chunks do not burn while cooking. You will be able to easily drain the water after the pumpkin has cooked.
Once the pumpkin has cooked and the chunks are soft, it can be mashed or pureed. Be sure to strain extra water off before the pumpkin is mashed.
I chose to puree mine for cooking purposes. To serve as a side dish with a meal, simply mash the pumpkin.
To make the smooth pumpkin puree for baking purposes, use a food mill, strainer, or blender to process. Once the cooked pumpkin has been pureed, use this in any pumpkin recipe calling for a can of pumpkin. (A 16-ounce can of pumpkin is the same as 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree.)
If you have extra, you can freeze the puree. Be sure to freeze with the appropriate amount for your favorite recipes! Home-made pumpkin puree is so much better than the canned gunk….Like everything else that you make from scratch, once you make your own pumpkin puree, you’ll be convinced. And honestly, isn’t it worth the little bit of extra time for this?
The 12 pound Brown Long Neck yielded 5 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin. This is enough for 2 pumpkin pies. I also reserved one half hollowed section that will be cooked for my lunch on Monday.
Please note: Home canning any pumpkin puree or butter is not recommended anymore, so if you plan to preserve some homemade pumpkin puree, you will need to freeze the batches you make.