Pumpkin Puree

This time, it’s all about pumpkins! There is no flavour more synonymous with fall than pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake all start to appear when the weather gets cooler and the trees start turning colour.

I get so excited when I see the bins of pumpkins appear at the orchard. Specifically, I get excited about sugar pumpkins! Sugar pumpkins are smaller than the big ones used for Halloween carving, and they are perfect for making pumpkin puree. While some of the bigger pumpkin varieties have a stringy, watery texture, sugar pumpkins have smooth, sweet flesh that becomes a delicious puree.

You can use pumpkin puree in any recipe calling for “canned pumpkin”, including cookies, cake, soups, and, of course, pie. Although it’s so easy to pick up a can of pumpkin from the store, making your own is rather satisfying. You know exactly what went into the puree (only pure pumpkin), you know where the pumpkins were grown and you know that you have supported a local farm. The puree freezes really well, so it’s easy to make a batch or two and pop it in the freezer for the next time you’re craving something pumpkin!

Pumpkin Puree 1

To make this recipe, you will need one sugar pumpkin. You can use any size you would like, the only thing that will change is how long the pumpkin roasts for and how much puree you get. I used a 2 kg pumpkin, and I got just under 5 cups of puree. Some recipes call for boiling or steaming the pumpkin, but I think that roasting the pumpkin gives a less watery puree and a sweeter flavour.

Pumpkin Puree 2

Preheat the oven to 375 ˚f. Start with washing the outside of the pumpkin to remove any dirt. Carefully cut the pumpkin in half. In my opinion, this is the hardest part of the recipe. Use a big knife and take your time!

Scoop out the seeds and as much of the stringy bits as you can. I used a knife to scrape out some of the strings too. Don’t worry if there are a few stringy pieces left, they will puree just fine.

Pumpkin Puree 3

Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Use parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

Pumpkin Puree 4

Bake the pumpkin in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 40-50 minutes. The baking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your pumpkin. When it’s done the skin will be wrinkly and the cut side of the pumpkin will be browned.

Pumpkin Puree 5

Let the pumpkin cool until you are able to handle it, but it’s still warm. Peel the skin off of the pumpkin flesh; it should come off easily. If the skin sticks in a few places, use a paring knife to peel off those stubborn sections. Place all the pumpkin flesh into a food processor or a blender and blend until smooth. Make sure it is completely free of any lumps.

Pumpkin Puree 6

At this point the puree is ready to use.

Pumpkin Puree 7

If you are freezing it, package it in Ziplock bags and flatten to use up less space in your freezer. I like to freeze it in one or two cup portions so I can grab just what I need for a recipe.

Pumpkin Puree 8

Enjoy your homemade pumpkin treats this fall!

- Jill

Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 - 50 minutes

Servings: Varies with the size of the pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sugar Pumpkin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ˚f
  2. Rinse pumpkin and cut in half. Remove seeds and stringy pieces.
  3. Place pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until pumpkin is tender. Baking time will vary depending on size of pumpkin.
  5. Let pumpkin cool enough to handle. Peel skin off of the pumpkin flesh and puree in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
  6. Use or freeze in ziplock bags.

 

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