Pumpkin Puree

*This post contains affiliate links.For more information see my disclosures.

 With Halloween being over it was time to make another use for my decorative pumpkins that I purchased for the front porch. They had been purchased shortly before Halloween and the farmer I bought them from told me that they were a favorite for baking with. I originally just wanted them because they were different from the more traditional jack-o-lantern type but I couldn't stop thinking about how good some fresh from the pumpkin baking would taste. So instead of letting them go to waste I decided to make some pumpkin puree. I cut them in half and cleaned out the fibers and the seeds. I set the seeds aside to roast later.
While I prepped my pumpkins, I had the oven preheating to 350 degrees. Once they were cut and cleaned I placed them fruit side down on a baking sheet with a silicone sheet underneath. You do want to make sure and use a baking sheet with a rim because pumpkins seem to be mostly water weight.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least an hour. Depending on the size of the pumpkins it may take longer. They are done when a fork easily pierces the skin and flesh. The skin should also be starting to wrinkle. Pull them out and let them cool down awhile. Once they are cooled scoop out the flesh and put in a food processor. I did lightly wring out the pumpkins before scooping out the flesh. This helped get more water out before processing.
Puree to your hearts content. I alternated between the low setting and pulse.
I just about swooned when I scooped this out of my food processor. It was gorgeous. I had visions of muffins and pies and lattes dance in my head. Once it's all pureed you will need to line a strainer with cheesecloth. There is still a lot of water in the puree at this point so it's beneficial to let it drain out a bit more.
You can do this one of two ways, in a spaghetti strainer or a fine mesh strainer. Technically a fine mesh strainer is probably more efficient but I have a smaller one and lots and lots of puree so I used both.
Let the puree sit and strain for a few hours. When you come back to it you can scoop it into freezer safe bags and freeze until needed. I scooped 2 cups of puree into each bag.

Pumpkin Puree: You will need: Pumpkins (baking pumpkins are the ideal) Rimmed baking sheet Cheesecloth (for straining) Food processor (you could use a blender) Cut pumpkins in half and remove stem. Discard fibers and remove seeds. Save seeds for roasting if you would like. Bake pumpkin halves in 350 degree oven for one hour or until fork tender. Let cool. Scoop out pumpkin flesh and process in food processor until pureed.  Place in cheesecloth lined strainer and let water drain from 2-4 hours. Place 2 cups in a freezer safe ziplock and freeze until needed. Enjoy your homemade, healthier pumpkin puree.

No comments