Welcome to Pumpkin Week: Day 1!

These bright orange orbs take the spotlight this season in all shapes, forms and faces. Before the harvest fades out, whip out your wooden spoon and chef’s hat, and pumpkin up your kitchen this week with six sweet and savory treats. The grand finale: Halloween!

Canned pumpkin is generally worth buying at the store to save the trouble of making your own puree. There is one exception, and that’s October, give or take a month. We’re already carving pumpkins with our families and friends, which requires scooping out those precious seeds and flesh. Half the work is already done! Follow this recipe for one medium-sized pumpkin, and you will have enough puree to make six pumpkin recipes this week!

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • Pie pumpkin - 1 medium pie pumpkin

Instructions

  1. Boiling Method:
  2. Put a large pot of water on the stovetop and bring it to a boil.
  3. Snap off the stem and cut the pumpkin in half.
  4. Scoop out the seeds and make roasted pumpkin seeds.
  5. Lay the pumpkin halves round side up, to steady the pumpkin for slicing off the skin. Peel the pumpkin entirely.
  6. Cut the pumpkin into 1-inch cubes.
  7. When the water is boiling, put the pumpkin in the pot and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the pumpkin for 20 minutes, until fork tender.
  8. Drain the pumpkin and transfer to a blender, food processor or bowl.
  9. Puree in a blender or food processor, or mash with a masher, a fork, or even your hands until the pumpkin is a smooth texture.
  10. Roasting Method:
  11. Preheat the oven to 400.
  12. Snap off the stem and cut the pumpkin in half.
  13. Scoop out the seeds and make roasted pumpkin seeds.
  14. Place the halves flesh-side up in the oven and roast for about 1 hour.
  15. Remove and let cool completely.
  16. Scoop out the flesh and transfer it to a food processor or Ziploc bag. Puree in the food processor or seal the mag and mash the pumpkin with your hands until it is a smooth, even texture.
  17. Storage:
  18. Refrigerator storage: In a tupperware for up to 1 week, scooping out puree as needed for each recipe.
  19. Freezer storage: Store in a tupperware (to allow the puree to expand as it freezes, leave 1-inch of space between the surface of the puree and the lid) or Ziploc bag (air sucked or squeezed out and frozen flat to free freezer space). Defrost when needed, and use as instructed in baking and soup recipes.
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