How to puree your own pumpkin!

It’s hard to believe that it is November already, but here we are.  Soon, Thanksgiving will be here and all that entails…family…cooking…preparing!

I actually enjoy cooking, especially since I’ve learned to let go of rigid recipes and learned how to cook from scratch.  My son’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is the pumpkin pie.  And I must admit, I really like it, too.

I used to buy the store-bought canned pumpkin and just follow the recipe on the can.  But then I learned that the pumpkin in the can wasn’t really pumpkin!  Really!  In fact, the USDA allows any winter squash to be called “pumpkin” and what you get in the cans is more like blue hubbard or some other winter squash. That’s when I learned to make my own roasted pumpkin puree.

The first thing you need to do is roast your own pumpkins.  I know that sounds kind of scary, but trust me, it is super easy.

I promise!

homemade pureed pumpkinGrab yourself one or two of those sugar pumpkins.  If you can get them directly from the farm, that’s perfect.  But if you can’t then you may be able to get them at your local grocery store, too.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the outside of your pumpkin.  With a sharp knife, carefully slice the top of the pumpkin off including the stem.

With the same sharp knife, cut your pumpkin in half, then in quarters.

Clean out the seeds and place your pumpkins skin side up on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Roast in the over for about 45 – 60 minutes.  The time will depend on the thickness of your pumpkin.  You will know they are done when the skins start to separate from the flesh and you can poke the skin of the pumpkin and it is soft. (Do this with the hand of a mixing spoon and not your finger…those suckers get hot.)

When done, remove from the oven and let cool.

When cool enough to handle, you should be able to peel the skin right off.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t come off easily in all places.  You can use a knife to peel away any portions that won’t pull right off.

Take the flesh of your pumpkin and put it into a food processor.  Process on high until your pumpkin is completely pureed. 

I store my pureed pumpkin in 2 cup portions in the freezer and just take out a container when I’m ready to use it.