Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Puree

It's fall and pumpkins are everywhere! Pumpkins are popping up in the stores, on front porches, and on blogs. I just don't know that much about pumpkins; in fact, I didn't know until a couple of minutes ago whether a pumpkin was a fruit or a vegetable. Maybe I've led a very sheltered life because all I've ever done with pumpkins is carved them for Halloween and used them as fall decor.

After seeing the gorgeous photo my brother had on his blog of pumpkins and after drooling all over my keyboard day after day eyeing all the amazing recipes my blogosphere friends make, I knew I needed to broaden my horizons. It is time to de-mystify the pumpkin; get to the core of where all these delicious pumpkins recipes begin. I searched Foodnetwork's site, Allrecipes.com and bhg.com and figured out puree was the answer.



Pumpkin Puree -


I started off with those two small-ish pumpkins and whacked their little tops off.





Cut the tops off the pumpkins.

Cut them in half and then quarter them. Get a spoon and remove the seeds. Note here, this takes a little muscle since the insides are pretty stringy and slimey.

Hang on to the seeds, we'll need them tomorrow. In my pumpkin research I learned we can use the seeds. Next to using the re-usable grocery bags, I'm feeling pretty darn green!

Put your de-seeded pumpkin quarters in a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes (leave the skin on). Some sites recommend coating the pumpkin with olive or vegetable oil. I didn't do this because if I use this puree for a cake, pie, etc., I don't want the baked oil taste in my confection. I felt the pumpkin had enough moisture in it to hold up during the baking process.

Ah, beautiful huh? It makes your house smell kind of autumn-y too.

Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the "meat". This should peel pretty easily.

Place the pumpkins pieces, a couple at a time in the food processor or blender and pulse until you have a somewhat smooth mixture with a slightly runny mashed potato consistency. I also read if the pumpkin seems too dry while processing add a little water, a tablespoon at a time to get the proper consistency.

Spoon the puree into a bowl and keep processing the remaining pumpkin.

Spoon the puree into re-sealable freezer bags and flatten out to get the all the air out of the bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to use. The puree should be good in the freezer for up to three months.

I guess for Christmas I'll have to find a search for mincemeat and find out which animal it comes from...sheesh, it never ends does it?

17 comments:

April said...

Sounds simple enough. I can't wait to see what you make with it.

gigi said...

If it's confession day, I'll go ahead and admit that I have never done this either. Only used them for Jack a Lanterns and only done that 2 or 3 times. I didn't like the mess. But I'm glad you did this for me. My aunt has some crooked neck pumpkins she's going to give me out of her garden. She has tried for years to give me pumpkins and I've politly declined. (I know, I know) So I asked her last week how she cooked her pumpkins. I was a little turned off by the fact that she boils them sort of like mashed potatoes. She cleans them out and peals them before she boils them, let me just say, YUCK! She told me that she also cans hers just like she would potatos. I told her that I thought that I would roast mine and then freeze the puree. She's excited for me to do this and let her know. So maybe I can teach her something for a change. She has never used the seeds either. They just throw all the stringy mess and seeds back into the garden and the pumpkins come up aain next year. How's that for going green? I'll let you know how things go on my end when I get to it. I'm excited to see what you are doing with your seeds :)

Maria said...

What a great idea to freeze pumpkin! I better go on a pumpkin hunt!

The Blonde Duck said...

I thought mincemeat was ground beef. The puree looks cool! That was a lot of work.

Pam said...

I have only used pumpkins for Halloween and then I throw them away. How sad is that? I will make pumpkin puree this year!

Marjie said...

Mincemeat used to be meat but no longer is. I looked it up once in my 1930s encyclopedia of cookery, and I'll look it up again for you when I have some "down time"!

Natashya said...

Good for you for tackling a new food in the kitchen. I like the cute little pumpkins too. The big carving ones are not very flavourful.
Looks like you did a great job with them, now you can make pumpkin bread, soup, anything - whenever you want.
(all produce that contain seeds are technically fruit - including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, etc.)

Greg C said...

I thought that stuff was made out of mints. Who knew it came from an amimal. I tried some pumpkin butter down at the market last week. It was out of this world. Maybe you could make some of that....and send it to me.

Pam said...

Thanks for posting this. I've always wanted to make my pumpkin puree instead of always buying it in a can.

Debbie said...

I have seen this done on a few sites and have never made my own puree. Was just talking to my husband about trying this and then I saw your blog! I have to give this a try too!

Reeni said...

A great step by step! Thanks so much. I can't wait to see the yummies you make with it!

Bridgett said...

I have never made my own pumpkin puree but everything I read about it pretty much states that making your own is always superior to any of the brands on the market. It does not look hard, nor very time consuming so I should take your lead and make my own as well. Great idea, Katherine!

Pam said...

It's me again...I have something for you on my blog.

John Roberts said...

I'll be waiting to see what you do with the seeds!

Prudy said...

Oh, nice work. I haven't done it in years. Lazinesss, sheer and utter laziness on my part.

Aggie said...

I love this lesson on pumpkins, I too don't know much about them, and don't normally cook with the real pumpkins (just the canned stuff)...I love your step by step photos and instructions!! Thank you Katherine!

Erin said...

How fun that you made your own pumpkin puree! I wonder if you'll taste any difference when you bake with it. YOu'll have to keep us posted!