I have always used canned pumpkin for every fall holiday without fail.
Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s on the label, label, label. You will like it, like it, like it on the table, table, table.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Canned pumpkin. We moved, well, not quite to the sticks, but certainly to somewhere with a little less variety in the marketplace, which means there isn’t canned pumpkin to be had all the time. What’s a girl to do?
Make your own!
To be honest, I’ve always been a little in awe of the idea of making my own pumpkin puree. That probably sounds silly, but you have to remember I like to make my own butter and my own vanilla extract and my own dark brown sugar, so homemade pumpkin puree instead of store bought appealed to me.
There’s this thing, though. I didn’t know how to make it. I don’t often cook things like squash, so baking these gourds wasn’t really something that I could wing in the same way that I can wing it when baking a cake.
So I turned to Pioneer Woman, as usual, for her recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Puree.
I picked up two cute little pie pumpkins from the local mega mart– I promise I’ll get the Thanksgiving ones from a local farm.
I don’t know what it is, but this particular one had the most awesome stem. It was the perfect Halloween pumpkin stem–all green-gray, gnarled and organic.
Then I lopped off the top of the first one.
My first knife was a bit of a bust. I lack quality cutlery. The second one did the trick.
Then I halved and quartered it.
The boy and I scooped out the pumpkin guts (strings and seeds) with a large table spoon.
We repeated the process with the second pumpkin,
and placed the scooped quarters onto a lined cookie sheet.
The seeds make a nutritious snack when roasted, but no one in our house is very fond of toasted pumpkin seeds–so we tossed ’em.
I drizzled a little oil over them– too much in this shot. It’s hard to take a picture while you drizzle oil, ya know.
Then I roasted them for about an hour. See PW’s recipe for times and temperatures!
They came out of the oven beautifully golden–even more so than when they went into the oven.
The skin was remarkably easy to peel off. I started working it with my fingers,
but ultimately settled on using a fork to do the job.
I’ve mentioned before that I lack a food processor and I didn’t want to fight the blender, so I put the roasted and peeled pumpkin into the bowl of my mixer, and with the whip attachment on medium, I “pureed” my pumpkin. It worked pretty well.
The two pie pumpkins yielded about 2 and 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin.
I used a heaping cupful for a recipe, and then I heeded PW’s advice to freeze the rest. I used a quart sized freezer bag to freeze mine. I’ll let you know if it still tastes as fresh as the first cup when I use it later.
My take on this one–Do eeet! It was a fun task for me and the boy to complete, and it was relatively easy. Plus, pie pumpkins are sooooo adorable,
and so are the sleepy, pajama clad cutie-pies who help you prepare them.