See that Jack O’ Lantern sitting out on your front stoop? DON’T TOSS IT! If it’s not mushy yet, you can turn it into one of my favorite ingredients for the fall: Pumpkin Puree!
I know you’re probably thinking that it’s a lot of work to make pupkin puree. Wrong! It’s a very simple process that only takes a few steps (especially if it is already hollowed and carved). Of course, it makes more sense to pick up a can of puree if you don’t have a pumpkin. BUT, if you already have one for Halloween, you can make enough puree for 10-15 pumpkin pies!! You won’t have to buy a can of puree all winter. Have you ever had a pumpkin pie with homemade puree? Think you love pumpkin pie now, just wait until you try fresh puree! People always think I have some secret ingredient. Shhh don’t tell! Of course, I don’t use all of my puree for pie. I make soup, smoothies, curry, fudge, turnovers, and the list goes on and on.
I almost didn’t get a pumpkin this year. We don’t have any kiddos yet, and as the years go on I feel a little silly carving a pumpkin. I guess my fella could tell I was missing one, so he went out to the local farm and bought me a MASSIVE 20 pound pumpkin. He’s such a sweetie. I didn’t get around to carving it, but it was a nice decoration on the porch at least. I knew just what to do with it once Halloween was over though. 20 pounds of pumpkin?!? I’ll be making pumpkin pies for everyone this year!! 🙂
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Here’s the beast again. Pumpkin beer for scale. If you already carved your pumpkin, you can skip these first few steps.
Cut off the top of your pumpkin-CAREFULLY.
Eeeww look at all that goo! Scrape it all out. Keep that thick white flesh in tact. That’s what will be our puree.
I saved my seeds to roast later. Yummy snack!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and place flesh side down on the baking sheet. Place in the oven for about an hour. Depending on how big your pumpkin is, it may take more or less time. Keep an eye on it, and it ‘s done when you poke a fork through with ease (sort of like a baked potato).
Scoop the pulp away from the skin, and place in a food processor or blender in batches. Puree for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until smooth.
Place in freezer bags; I put 2 cups in each bag, which is how much goes into my pumpkin pie. Easy to defrost and use! Freeze for up to a year.
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