Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup...all yummy things that require the same ingredient...pumpkin puree.

What they don't require is a trip to the grocery store to buy pumpkin puree. All you need is a pumpkin, an oven, and a blender. I rescued this pumpkin that never got carved into a Jack O Lantern.

I cut it in half. And for extra flavor, let a baby gnaw on it.

I scooped out the seeds and the gunk (and saved the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds with later!) Then cut it into pieces like this and put it on cookie sheets and baked it at 350 for 45 minutes. I filled these 2 cookie sheets twice with this sized pumpkin. Some people line their cookie sheets with foil, but this really doesn't make that much mess, and I'd rather scrub off the cookie sheets than have to buy more aluminum foil.

When it cooled, the skin easily peeled off. Then I put it through a blender. You need to add a little water to get it to blend well. There isn't a specific measurement--just as little as you need to use in order to get it to blend. You don't want to overdo it or your puree will be watery. Big pumpkins tend to be more stringy. I had to run this puree through the blender twice, even though I used the Vitamix, which I've never had to do before. I filled Ziploc bags, which I labeled with how many cups I filled it with, and put in the freezer. I used 2 cups right away for a recipe that I didn't take a picture of here. So pictured here is 16 cups, plus I had an extra 2 cups for a grand total of 18 cups of puree from one jack-o-lantern sized pumpkin.

Not only do you save quite a bit doing it this way (especially if you grew your own pumpkins, which are very low maintenance and easy to grow), but the taste is 100 times better than canned.

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