The other day at the supermarket, as we were passing by huge stacks of canned pumpkin, my daughter said enthusiastically, “Let’s buy canned pumpkin and make a pumpkin pie!” My daughter then quickly realized that my usual “Why buy if we can make our own pumpkin puree from scratch!” sentence was about to come out, so she quickly added, “It’s organic, too,” hoping the catch phrase would prompt me to buy without hesitation.
Well, “organic” certainly did appeal to me, but I could not go against my basic cooking principle which is—if something so basic can be made at home, let’s jut make it at home. I said that to my daughter. Also added that it was not rocket science. It is just simple homemade pumpkin puree. How difficult can it be? My daughter was persuaded and off we walked out of the market with a cute little pumpkin in our hand.
The following day I set out to make my own homemade pumpkin puree. Because there are several pumpkin desserts that I really want to try bake this year and share the recipes with you. My pumpkin puree turned out just perfect. You can make your own, too. All you need is a pumpkin, an oven, and the if-this-can-be-made-at-home-then-let’s-make-it-at-home attitude, and you are good to go. Make your pumpkin puree and store it. Some awesome pumpkin recipes are coming here soon! For now, let’s begin the step-by-step pumpkin puree making tutorial.
Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and all the fiber and cut each half in two.
Arrange the clean pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet.
Here’s how the baked pumpkin looks. Doesn’t the color look amazing? It does to me.
Scrape out the tender pumpkin flesh and puree. It’s ready to use!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Makes 2 cups
One small pumpkin ( 2 1/2 – 3 pounds / 1 kg 200 g – 1 1/2 kg)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Wash and pat dry the pumpkin. Making a circular cut with a sharp knife, remove the stalk of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and all the fiber (stringy, fibrous strands) . Reserve the seeds for another use (such as roasting them for a snack) or discard.
Cut each pumpkin half lengthways in two, to obtain a total of 4 pumpkin wedges. Arranged the wedges, flesh side down (the wedges will sit on their sides, so the flesh will not be completely down, which is ok) on a parchment paper—lined baking pan.
Roast the pumpkin on the middle rack of the oven, until the flesh is fork-tender (check in a few places to make sure the flesh is cooked evenly), 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool completely. Using a spoon, scoop out the tender pumpkin flesh from the skin. Put the flesh in a food processor and process until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. If the pumpkin flesh is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water to the processor—this will allow for an easier pureeing.
You can use your homemade pumpkin puree immediately, or store it in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the pumpkin puree in ziploc bags for up to 5 months. Allow the frozen puree to defrost in the refrigerator before using.
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