Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Seed Roasting

Fall is here and with the cool winds and falling leaves come the smells from the oven as the cooking gravitates from the outside BBQ into the kitchen.  Home centered projects leave one to feel content to be inside.
One annual kitchen project is the roasting of the pumpkins ... and the seeds!

My son came to help make Jack-O-Lanterns and expanded on my seed roasting method this year.  The additions of a little olive oil and another sprinkling of salt made the seeds better than ever! 

I am often asked how to go about roasting the seeds, an important part of carving Jack-o-lanterns as well as a side job on the same day that I roast the pumpkins for pies.

My step-by-step method goes like this:

1. Separate the seeds form the pumpkin "guts" and rinse the seeds in a collander.

2. Boil the seeds in a saucepan with water to cover and add about 1/3 cup sea salt.
3. Simmer 20 minutes (do not let it boil over).
4. Strain and let the excess water drip off.
5. Spread onto a cookie sheet and roast at 175 degrees ("convect roast" if you have a setting, bake is fine if you don't).
6. Stir the seeds about every 20 minutes.
7. After about an hour, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a little more sea salt - stir some more and again about every 20 minutes for about 2 more hours.

Once the pumpkin seeds are dry and a little brown, roasty looking, they are ready to put into jars... or eat!

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