Pumpkin Puree

I can't believe it's Fall!  It's hard for me to believe Halloween was two weeks ago, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I'm not sure why, but time seems to be slipping away from me this year {sigh}.  Anyway, let me focus on cooking.  For the past two or so years, I've re-purposed our Halloween pumpkin.  And by re-purpose, I mean, cut it up and cook it down.  Last year I made homemade pumpkin butter and the year before I believe I made a pumpkin pie.  This year I've made a big batch of pumpkin puree which will allow me to add it to just about anything.  So far I've made Pumpkin-Cranberry bread with the puree.  I also plan to make baked pumpkin doughnut bites and pumpkin pancakes.  Keep an eye out for those upcoming recipes.

Making your own pumpkin puree is so simple; slice, bake, cut, and puree.  Voila!  Easy, right?  Once the pumpkin is pureed and drained, I placed it into quart sized freezer storage bags.  You can refrigerate the puree for one week, or freeze up to 3 months.  Perfect timing for a fresh Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.  Here's to good food and gladness!

Roasted pumpkin for puree

Roasted pumpkin for puree

Pumpkin pureed in a food processor

Pumpkin pureed in a food processor

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  

Ingredients for pumpkin puree

  • 1 large pumpkin or 2 small pumpkins
  • also needed: chef's knife, large cutting board, baking sheet, foil, food processor, fine mesh strainer, and cheesecloth

Directions for pumpkin puree

  1. Preheat oven = 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and set aside.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into 3-4 inch width slices, leaving the skin on.
  3. Arrange the pumpkin slices onto the prepared baking sheet, skin side up.  Using a fork, pierce the skin of the pumpkin.  Place sheet into the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Peel the skin off the cooked pumpkin (should come off easily pulling with your hands, otherwise use a paring knife).  
  5. Cut the cooked pumpkin into 2-3 inch chunks.  Place the chunks of pumpkin into a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the puree into a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Allow to drain 5-10 minutes.  Transfer to a storage container or bag.  Refrigerate for 1 week, freeze up to 3 months.