Pumpkin, I really love pumpkin. In the past I have always used canned pumpkin in recipes but then a couple of years ago our neighbor gave us a pumpkin that had just popped up in their garden. So that year I decided to roast the pumpkin and make my own pumpkin puree for our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
I know you might be thinking to yourself, why not just purchase the pumpkin in the cans? Why go to all the trouble to cook the pumpkin yourself? For me I think the pumpkin tastes fresher than the canned pumpkin. I will usually roast two to three pumpkins and then we are set for our holiday pumpkin puree.
I have roasted craving pumpkins and sugar pumpkins. I think the sugar pumpkins are a little less watery but either one has worked well for me. But if you have the choice to pick up a sugar pumpkin. They seem to be a little meatier.
I give my pumpkin a good bath and then cut them in half. Now comes the fun part removing the seeds. But don’t throw them away keep them to roast them for a great tasting snack.
I have found using a melon baller works great to remove the fibers that are left inside the cavity of the pumpkin. Once all the strings are out. I place them cut side down in a shallow baking dish or on a cookie sheet.
When I place the pumpkins in the oven, I add a little water to the pan to help the pumpkins cook. Set the timer for about 30 to 60 minutes. When the pumpkins are soft they are done. I roast mine at 375 degrees.
Let cool until they can be handled and scoop out all the great pumpkin puree. I usually scoop the puree into a good-sized bowl and then use my hand blender to process it until smooth.
Let cool and then package into 2 cup portions and freeze. I like to freeze the pumpkin in zipper bags and lay them flat to freeze so they thaw more easily.
When I’m ready to use some of the homemade pumpkin puree, I just thaw and drain off any extra liquid. Then I use the drained puree as you would canned pumpkin.
Have you ever made your own pumpkin puree?