I can’t wait for each and every recipe I have coming up for you this week. I am a huge fan of pumpkin everything so I have more than enough FABULOUS recipes to give you a full week’s worth of pumpkin heaven.
With my hubby gone hunting and the rainy season started, the boys and I decided we would head down to our local farm stand and pick up some sugar pie pumpkins for a day full of baking. They had so much fun getting all of the “guts” out of the pumpkins and separating all of the seeds so we could roast them.
Now, I can honestly say, I cannot taste a HUGE difference in flavor between canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin puree, but if you are looking for a really fun, cheap fall activity to stock up on puree (which is generally pretty expensive otherwise) for the season, this is definitely worth it the effort.
1-2 sugar pie (or baking) pumpkins – your local farmer or grocer will be able to point you in the right direction. They are generally small, round, pretty smooth pumpkins with little speckles on them.
I roasted 2 pumpkins and got 10 cups of puree (which is equivalent to 5 cans of puree) and at $2/pumpkin, it is much cheaper.
Cut pumpkin in half, vertically. These pumpkins are generally pretty firm so be careful. I find that a bread knife or serrated steak knife work better than my big sharp chef knives. Cut right up to the stem on both sides then break apart with your hands. You should then just be able to grab the stem and break it off pretty easily.
Remove the “guts” as my boys would call it. Be sure to scrap the inside well with a spoon to remove any of the stringy pulp. Separate the seeds into a bowl and rinse. If you fill the bowl with water, the seeds will float and the pulp will generally sink to the bottom. Lay on a paper towel to dry. We will be roasting them later this week 🙂
Line large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkin halves face down on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for approximately 90 minutes or until pumpkins are soft. As you can see in my pictures, one of my pumpkins cooked much faster than the other so it was extra soft after it was baked.
Cool until you can handle them safely. The skin of the pumpkin should peel off very easily. After you have them peeled, cut into chunks and place into a food processor or blender.
Puree until very smooth. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain excess liquid from puree. It seems like the puree will just run right through but it won’t. Don’t force it through the strainer, just let it drain naturally. Let each batch drain for several minutes. *One of my blog followers recommends in the comments below to let the puree sit in the fridge overnight. The liquid will all come to the top while the puree sinks to the bottom so if you are not planning on using it right away, this would be a really easy option. *
If you aren’t planning on using all of your puree now, divide it into freezer bags in 2 cup portions. I like to fold the top of the bag over before I start measuring. This will keep the top of the bag where you need a good seal from getting all gunky. Press the excess air from the bag, label bag and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.