Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pumpkin Puree

I was hoping to get this posted before Thanksgiving, but I didn't get done quite as soon as I would have liked.
There are many different ways to cook your pumpkin- basically just bake or boil, etc. until the pumpkin meat is soft and then make a puree.
You can bake the pumpkin skin side up (cut pumpkin in half, oil the edges, place on baking sheet that has some kind of edge so the juices don't spill), you can piece it up and put in in a pot of water to steam or boil, you can even microwave it with water. I prefer an oven method, then I don't have bother removing excess water.
Here's what I did:

Cut the pumpkin.

Remove "guts" (I do have a recipe for pumpkin seeds that are really good- not sure when I'll get that posted though!).

Place in baking dish. Bake at 350˚ until fork tender- somewhere between 45 minutes and 1 1/2 hours- depending on the pumpkin.

Here they are out of the oven, soft enough for a fork to go in with no resistance.

Allow to cool so you can touch it without burning your fingers, then peel the skin off and discard.

Here is all the pumpkin meat. I used a hand held blender (the type you can use in a drinking glass). I tried a regular blender once, but the pumpkin was very hard to get in and out of it and it took a long time. A food processor would be great as well. With my hand blender it took 1-2 minutes to get it to a smooth consistency.

Once the pumpkin is smooth it is ready to use in your favorite pumpkin recipe. I froze mine with 2 cups of puree in each bag. I don't have a set recipe but was planning to try this one: Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie.

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