How to... Make your own Pumpkin Puree!

 There are so many delicious recipes out there right now that call for pumpkin puree - not canned pumpkin pie filling, plain old pureed pumpkin. But given that I have four pumpkins sitting around my house from our pumpkin carving party that didn't get carved and I don't want them to go to waste... I didn't think it would be appropriate to head to the store and pick up cans of the processed stuff while I have the real thing at home! Surely there must be some way to turn those pumpkins into pumpkin puree that orignarily just comes out of a can? Google gave me a resounding YES, there is a way to make your own pumpkin puree and its *gasp* easy!! Do you have a sharp knife? An oven? A food processor? Then, you can make your own pumpkin puree - it will taste better than canned because it is fresh! Go ahead, give it a try!

(Note - using a jackolantern pumpkin that has been previously carved is dangerous - it has been exposed to all kinds of things, not to mention growth of bacteria from exposure to air, that can make you sick - use a whole pumpkin that has not been mutilated in any way!!).

 First off, use a sharp knife and chop that pumpkin in half - starting at the stem (see top picture). Then use a metal spoon and scrape out all the seeds and stringy insides until you're left with a nice, clean pumpkin. While you're cleaning out the pumpkin, preheat your oven to 350F.

Oil a shallow baking dish and then place the pumpkin halves, cut side down onto the well-oiled dish. Roast in your pre-heated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Note, that the baking time is for a pumpkin that weighs approximately 4lbs - if your pumpkin is larger, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

 One other thing to note - the larger the pumpkin, the more bitter the flesh - try to stick with smaller pumpkins for roasting - especially if you're going to use them in baked goods where their flavour will really shine!

Let your roasted pumpkins cool until they are cool enough to handle. Then scrape out the soft flesh into a bowl and cool completely. Whirl in your food processor for a couple of minutes until it is smooth and silky. Refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to two days in advance if keeping in the fridge, or you can freeze it for longer periods).

 Use your delicious pumpkin puree in any baked goods that call for canned pumpkin puree - here are a few ideas from my blog archives:

Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping
Four Layer Pumpkin Cake
Pumpkin Doughnuts

You could also substitute this pumpkin puree for any roasted squash in soup recipes! It would sub in great for butternut or acorn squash.

Happy Cooking my Friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment