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?