I had a huge list of pumpkin themed recipes I wanted to try. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Scones, Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars, Pumpkin Cream Cheese….I could go on and on. Everything was going great…the kids were behaving, I was sticking to my grocery list, we were going to make it out of the store in record time. Until the moment of crisis came….NO CANNED PUMPKIN! It was nowhere to be found…not even pumpkin pie filling was on the shelves. I couldn’t believe it! I thought, and thought, gave the princess more cheerios to entertain her, took the boys to the LEGO aisle to gander at the toys they wish they had….and thought some more. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it was time to take matters into my own hands-I’d simply puree pumpkin myself. So, back to the produce section we went, and came away with these beauties
Two pumpkin pie pumpkins and one large pumpkin. I was determined to figure out how to do this, and therefore enjoy a cool fall weekend filled with pumpkin tasting treats.
I did some Google research, and watched some YouTube on pureeing pumpkins. Yep, I thought I could do it. So, I got out my cutting board, food processor, baking sheets, and super sharp knife and went to work.
To Puree A Pumpkin:
1. Choose a few small pumpkin pie pumpkins. If I do this again, I will buy several small pumpkins as opposed to one larger and two small. Simply handling and cutting the big one was a challenge.
2. Cut the stem off and set it aside. Then, cut your pumpkin in half down the middle, just like you would a honeydew melon.
3. When you open it up, it will look like this:
4. Scrape the seeds and strings out and set them aside to roast later. My kids LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds and would scoff at the idea of throwing them in the trash.
5. Slice the pumpkin into a few smaller wedges.
6. Lay them skin side or flesh side down on a baking sheet. I laid them however they would fit, and they turned out fine every time.
7. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Mine took a little longer, just make sure they’re fork tender.
8. Remove the baking sheets and transfer the wedges to a plate or cutting board. I did this for two reasons-they could cool off a bit, and I could arrange more pumpkin pieces on the sheet and put it right back in the oven.
9. After they’ve cooled a little, gently slice the skin off the pumpkin wedges. It should come off easily. BE CAREFUL! I found that when you pulled the skin back, it was very hot underneath.
10. Put your skins in the trash and the soft pumpkin in the food processor. I suppose you could use a blender, too.
11. Process your pumpkin until it is smooth. I added a few tablespoons of water to thin it out a little because it was VERY thick.
12. Repeat this entire process until you’re out of pumpkin.
**I stored my pumpkin in 2 cup increments in quart size freezer bags. I also made one ice cube tray’s worth of it. I just spooned it in the ice cube tray, and froze it. That way, I can pull out a few to make lattes. For a latte, you only need about 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin.
I know it’s a 12 step process, but really it was very simple. I can’t tell a difference in taste between the pumpkin pie pumpkins and the larger pumpkin I bought. I would simply buy smaller pumpkins for handling sake and ease of cutting.