Saturday, October 1, 2011
Hello October! - Making Pumpkin Puree #Recipe
Yes, those fabulous little Sugar Pie Pumpkins are ready in the field and they couldn't have come at a better time.
Yesterday the sky was grey and today the infamous Oregon Fall drizzle has moved in, putting a damper on our outside activities. The bright spot now is the wonderful smells coming from our kitchen.
Every year I see posts on using jack-o-lanterns for making pumpkin puree. I have to say it would be better than the rather bitter squash mixture found in a can of canned pumpkin, which is usually a lot of butternut squash or just "cannery squash". The typical jack-o-lantern pumpkin was not grown to be eaten. They have a thinner flesh (less to puree!) and are often very watery or flavorless.
So, if you go to the trouble of roasting a "Jack", I will give you some props for going the extra mile to make your own puree, but if you want more flavor and meat choose a Sugar Pie pumpkin.
These small and round beauties are heavy, they have a fair amount of seeds to roast, but most importantly have a thick tasty flesh just perfect for baking projects.
I grabbed 3 good sized pumpkins.
Then I cut the tops and bottom off. Just the very end. I like to have them sit as I cut them in half.
Do you see how thick the meat is?
Then I scoop out the seeds and save them in a separate bowl to roast later. Then cut the pumpkin again so you have quarters.
Now I roast my pumpkins at 350 degrees. Don't worry about peeling them just yet.
There are many ways to do this. I have had the most success by putting my pumpkin skin side up in a baking dish with about an inch or so of water. This method takes longer, but the flesh is very tender and not dry.
I wasn't sure if covering them with foil was essential or not, so I tried a pan of each. One was covered and one was not.
So, either method works fine, though I would recommend covering your dish while baking.
Test the pumpkin with a fork. It should be soft, even in the thickest parts.
Set this aside till it is cool enough to handle.
Pulse it up till you have a smooth and creamy puree. Be sure to stir the bowl around to remove large chunks.
I freeze mine in baggies with either a cup or 15 oz (as is in a typical can of pumpkin) in each. It is such a treat to have bags made up for my favorite recipes in the exact amount called for.
Mmmm.... it has a good flavor even before adding sugar and spices. I am planning on using this for Pumpkin Icecream and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies later this week.
I hope you have a chance to try making your own Pumpkin puree. What will you put it in?