Friday, October 7, 2011

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

It is officially Autumn.

...At least I keep telling myself this.

Anyway, in my world it is Autumn. And this means one thing...

Pumpkin EVERYTHING.

I'll be perfectly honest, I have an obsession with pumpkin foods.

Breads, cookies, soups, curries. If it has pumpkin, i'll love it.

Up until this point, I've always purchased canned pumpkin puree. Making my own puree never really crossed my mind.

This all changed a couple weeks ago when I realized that canned pumpkin isn't in markets yet.

I know, WHAT!?!

So I had to decide: wait for it to hit the shelves sometime in the middle of October or, take matters into my own hands and make my own.

I went with option b. And i'll be honest, it is super easy.


What you need:
A pumpkin, or pumpkins.
A good knife
Baking sheets
A blender or food processor


I picked up a large pumpkin. You could easily use smaller ones. If fact, if i'm being honest, i'll probably use smaller pumpkins next time.

The final pumpkin puree tasted great, but I think a smaller pumpkin would be easier to chop into pieces (I had Aaron do it for me).


First chop in half, and then into smaller pieces. Scoop out the insides and place in separate bowl. Try to remove as much of the stringy parts as possible. You can either toss out the seeds, or roast them in the oven later.


Place pumpkin parts on a large baking sheet.
I did not place them any special way. Some people may argue its better to place inside-up, while other may argue outside(skin)-up. I didn't see any difference.
Some people also cover the bottom of the baking sheet with water. I didn't.
My puree turned out great.


Cooking time varies. It took about one hour at 350F for this pumpkin to get soft. I checked regularly using a fork. Once the pumpkin is soft and the fork comes out easily it should be ready.


After the pumpkin has cooled, begin removing the pumpkin flesh from the pumpkin skin. This should be relatively easy, assuming the pumpkin was baked long enough in the oven.
Throw away the pumpkin skin and chop the pumpkin flesh into small cubed pieces. Puree using either a food processor or blender. If using a blender, you may need to add additional water.


Mix thoroughly until you reach the desired consistency.



This one pumpkin made way more puree than I could have possibly imagined. An easy solution is to freeze the left overs.

To do this, place small amounts in freezer friendly zip-lock bags. I froze leftovers in amounts of approximately 1 cup. Remove as much air from bags as possible before freezing.

Now I have enough puree to last me all winter.

What pumpkin food will I make first??
Aaron's favorite: Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe tomorrow)

Recipe inspiration found here
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