As much as I hate to say it, pumpkin season has snuck up on us. Not being a big fan of the pumpkin spice craze, I’m still a fanatic for things with fresh pumpkin.
I don’t like my pumpkin related foods to include canned pumpkin from the store and HATE anything made from the store-bought pumpkin pie filling.
So, it’s not uncommon for me to get a few large pumpkins in the fall and make my own pumpkin puree for myself and the in-laws.
Making your own pumpkin puree may seem like a daunting task but it’s really quite simple.
- Know your pumpkins – There are several types of pumpkins but you can usually lump them into two main categories:
- Carving/Decorating Pumpkins – You are certainly familiar with these.
- Cooking Pumpkins
- You can actually use either to cook with. But, I think you get more out of a cooking pumpkin and a meatier/better texture. The texture issue can be resolved by draining off the extra liquid from the puree.
- Wash and dry your pumpkins
- Cut your pumpkins in half.
- Using a large spoon (or even an ice cream scoop) remove the “guts” and stringy bits.
- Cut your halves into consistent size chunks in order for them to cook evenly and quickly.
- Cook the pumpkin until it’s soft. You can do this in a pot on the stove or cover it with foil and roast it in the oven.
- Remove the skin of the pumpkin. Sometimes you can just peel it off. Some people prefer to scrape out the cooked meat.
- Using a blender, puree the pumpkin until it’s the consistency you want. If your blender won’t start processing the pumpkin, add a little water. You can always remove the water later.
- Once your pumpkin is ready, let it sit for 30-60 minutes and drain off any extra liquid. Some people like to strain the liquid out with a cheesecloth.
- Freeze or can your puree. I prefer to freeze mine. I bag it in quantities of 2 or 4 cups (2 cups are standard for 1 pie) and lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and let them freeze overnight. Then, I can just pop them in a basket in my freezer and they don’t take up as much room as a canning jar would in my pantry. Make sure you label the bags before you freeze them!
When you thaw your puree, feel free to drain off any excess liquid.
I prefer not to add any spices to my puree as I am making it. Picture your puree is a blank canvas. Then, you can add what you like to it depending on what you are making or who it is for!
Peace, Love & Pumpkins!
Hoosier Barn Chick