Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Puree (a how to)

I know I've said this a number of times, but sometimes spending the time and effort to make things at home instead of buying canned or prepackaged is great.

This weekend I made pumpkin puree. Yeah, that stuff you normally get out of a can. I spent $3 on two pie pumpkins and got around 5 cups of puree. I think that is maybe about equivalent to what it would cost you from the store. But the great thing is I also got some toasted pumpkin seeds out of the deal. And I supported a local farmer. If you've got the time you should do it; doesn't take a lot of effort, just follow the 6 easy steps below.

Step 1. Go to the farmer's market (or grocery store) and pick out some pie pumpkins. Clean the outsides. And get out a giant sharp knife.

Step 2. Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out the insides. Place them cut side down on baking sheets. Roast in 400 F oven for 40-60 minutes (give or take some time depending on the size of your pumpkins).

Step 3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Step 4. Peel off the skin and put the flesh into a food processor.

Step 5. Puree until you get the desired consistency.

Step 6. Use in recipes!!

So simple. Do the darn thang!

Pumpkin Puree
Pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins)*

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Clean the outside of the pumpkin(s). Cut the pumpkin(s) in half using a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 40-60 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin) until the flesh is cooked completely.

Let the roasted pumpkins cool completely. Peel off the skin and put the flesh into a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency is reached.

Use in place of "canned pumpkin puree" for any recipe.

Freeze in freezer safe ziploc bags.**

*I used two pie pumpkins (Sorry I don't know how much they weighed because I got them from the farmer's market) and got around 5 cups of puree. Use as many pumpkins as you want :)

**I packaged some of mine in 1 cup aliquots in quart sized bags. I froze the rest in ice cube trays (about 2 tbsp per cube) then cracked the cubes out and put them in a gallon sized bag. The different amounts will allow me to thaw whatever I need, when I need it.

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