Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

A few weeks ago I was earnestly awaiting fall. Never mind the 100+ degree temperatures we were still experiencing; I wanted to taste fall! The best way to satisfy a fall craving is with pumpkin treats, so I set out to the grocery store to pick up a can or too of pumpkin puree. Of course, the shelves were bare. Two years in a row of poor pumpkin crops led to two years of a pumpkin shortage. Even suppliers online were estimating shipping times upwards of 2 months!

Just as I was thinking about roasting pumpkins for my own pumpkin puree, Annie of Annie's Eats posted a tutorial on that very topic, taking all the guesswork out of it for me! By the time I got around to picking up some pie pumpkins, canned pumpkin puree was back on the shelves. However, I fancy myself a hippie of sorts, so I still wanted to give homemade pumpkin puree a try. Super easy, though a bit messy. If anyone out there has a baby, I bet this would make for some great homemade baby food too.

You can freeze your homemade pumpkin and save for the next time you're craving a homemade pumpkin treat. I used mine to make pumpkin cream cheese muffins....yum!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Source: Annie's Eats

Printable Recipe

Pie pumpkins

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using a sharp knife on a stable surface, slice each pumpkin in half lengthwise. I found their shells to be very hard, so be careful!

Scoop out all the pumpkin "guts" and seeds. Set aside if you want to make roasted pumpkin seeds, otherwise discard.

Place the pumpkin halves face down on a cookie sheet (be sure to use one with raised sides). Pour water onto the cookie sheet until it's about an inch or so deep. This will help steam the pumpkin flesh.

Bake the pumpkins for about 60-90 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce through the shell. Let cool.

Drain the water off of the cookie sheet and discard. Scoop the roasted flesh out of the shells and into a food processor. Process until it is a smooth puree.

Line a mesh strainer with paper towels and set over a medium bowl. Scoop the pumpkin puree into the strainer and let sit for about an hour. This allows the excess liquid to drain out of the puree. Discard the liquid and store your pumpkin puree in a freezer-safe container. Freeze if you are not going to use in the next few days.
Note: I got about about 3 cups of pumpkin puree from two pie pumpkins.

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