Basics: Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

So, if I haven’t already made it clear, I love fall. Pumpkins are one of the great things about fall. I love their colors – deep orange, almost yellow, pale gray-green, and white. I love their sizes and textures. I love that they are full of childhood memories and can be a part of fantastic recipes. Basically, I think pumpkins are all around pretty awesome.

This recipe is very basic, yet surprisingly many people don’t think to make pumpkin puree themselves. It’s so easy to buy pumpkin puree in a can, and I can’t lie, I have done it many a time. But making your own is super easy and you know exactly what is in it, which is definitely a plus.

What’s really great about it is that you can freeze it. I’d recommend freezing it in portions – a cup is probably the best size. Some people freeze it in plastic bags, and they are probably the easiest way to freeze multiple portions but you could also freeze it in ice-cube trays (for smaller portion sizes) or in tupperware (for freezing larger portions.)

I do not add anything to my pumpkin when roasting so as to keep it as pure as possible. I’m also not super concerned with removing all of the membrane innards, since everything purees together in the end.

 

Pumpkin quarters ready for roasting

Pumpkin quarters ready for roasting

Ingredients

Pumpkins

 

Serves: all depends on how many pumpkins you use

Time – prep and cooking: 1 -2.5 hrs (depending on the size of your pumpkins)

 

 

 

 

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 350° and line 1-2 baking sheets in aluminum foil (depending on how many pumpkins you are using.) Cut the tops off of the pumpkins. This can be a bit difficult depending on the exact type of pumpkin you are using. After the tops are cut off, cut the pumpkins in half.

2.     Remove the pumpkin innards – seeds and membranes. I’d save the seeds for roasting (might I suggest my recipe for Roasted Squash Seeds with Moroccan Spices.) After you’ve removed the seeds and membranes cut the pumpkin halves in half (each pumpkin will be fully quartered.)

3.     Place the pumpkin quarters on the aluminum foil lined baking sheets (I usually place them skin side down, but it can be either way.) Pour some water in the pans - just enough to cover the whole bottom of the pans and place the pans in the oven.

4.     Cook for anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the quarters. Test the “doneness” of the pumpkin with a fork – it should slide easily into the flesh and feel somewhat mushy. You will probably need to add water if you need to roast for the longer time.

5.     Once the pumpkin is roasted let it cool a bit and then separate the flesh from the skin. I use a knife for this, peeling the skin from the flesh. Place the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or use an emersion blender, either way, puree until smooth.

6.     Use your pumpkin puree immediately or store for later use! 

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

What do you make with pumpkins (besides pie)?