Historically I haven’t been a big fan of pumpkin. As a kid I would’t touch pumpkin pie (All over the pecan and apple though!) But over the years pumpkin has grown on me. And I have to say that pumpkin goods made with fresh pumpkin puree far surpasses those made with canned. Considering this fact pumpkin puree is a super useful thing to know how to make as we move further into fall and the holiday season. Pumpkin puree is the base for recipes like pumpkin spice muffins (recipe coming in the next post), pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and of course the famous Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
Fortunately pumpkin puree is extremely easy to make. The real key to having it come out well is to use the right type of pumpkin. All the types you see around the grocery store a certainly edible, but sugar pumpkins (or you may see them labeled as pie pumpkins) are grown with taste in mind, where as the larger pumpkins you see intended for decorations and jack-o-lanterns are bred with thick skins to hold up to carving, and taste is generally disregarded. Puree made from these pumpkins honestly doesn’t taste all that good, so don’t be tempted by the larger carving pumpkins thinking you’ll get more puree bang for your buck.
Again this fresh puree really makes pumpkin baked goods shine, so it’s well worth scraping out a few of those smaller sugar pumpkins! Give it a shot and really dazzle with your fall baked goods!
- 4 sugar pumpkins
- 1. Slice the stem off of each sugar pumpkin. Cut each pumpkin in half. Using a spoon scrape out pulp and seeds. (You may want to reserve seeds for roasting.)
- 2. Place pumpkin halves on a foil lined baking tray skin side down. Bake in oven at 400* for 30-45min. Pumpkins are done when they are soft to the touch. They will appear slightly shriveled and have fairly dark edges.
- 3. Allow pumpkins to cool enough to safely handle. Then using a spoon scrape the meat away from the skin. The meat will come away very easily. Discard the skin.
- 4. Take pumpkin meat and mash with a potato masher for a coarser texture, or puree using a food processor.
- This recipe yields aprox. four cups of pumpkin puree. I find one reasonable sized sugar pumpkin will yield about one cup of puree. (Most recipes involving puree use between 1 and 2 cups of puree.)