Savory Stuff

Homemade Pumpkin Purée

roasted pumpkin

Thanksgiving is nigh and that means lots of baking, even though it's going to be in the low 90's here in LA on Thanksgiving (dear god, why?!).  I may melt, but I must bake pie, and it must be pumpkin because I recently came into a sugar pumpkin and didn't know what else to do with it except make purée.  Normally, I buy canned pumpkin because obviously it's easier and delicious. But, there's something satisfying about making your own. And really, the hardest part is slicing the pumpkin, so, just make sure your knife is sharp. Let's get to it!

Ingredients

1 sugar pumpkin (about 2-3lbs)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree. 
  2. Remove the top of the pumpkin with the stem. You don't really want to roast the stem, plus this makes it easier to slice into. 
  3. Cut pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and guts into a bowl (I'll show you what I did to the seeds later. I'll give you a hint: I roasted them.)
  4. Cut halves in half again, so, you get it, you have a quartered pumpkin. 
  5. Place quarters face up on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.  Let cool 20 minutes or when you feel like you can handle the warm pumpkin without burning off your fingerprints. 
  6. Using a spoon, separate pumpkin from the skin. The skin should actually peel away really easily. 
  7. Cut pumpkin into cubes and puree in a food processor. If your pumpkin is dry and you're not getting the smooth consistency you want, add about a tablespoon of water at a time until it's nice and velvety. 
  8. OR if you're like me and you don't own a food processor, use a blender! 
  9. OR if you're like me and you don't own a food processor and your blender is actually a knock-off version of the bullet and doesn't work very well anymore, use a potato masher! I added about 1/4 cup of water and mashed the hell out of the pumpkin. You don't get the velvety consistency that a food processor would give you but, you get a "rustic" puree, not chunky... rustic. 
  10. Use immediately in your favorite recipes- pumpkin pie, your morning or night smoothie, I've used about a cup of purée in chili before and it was pretty tasty. Or do what I did and measure out 1 cup of purée and freeze in freezer bags. 
  11. Makes about 2.5 cups of puree. Enjoy!