Next time you reach out for that can of pumpkin puree in your market – “STOP”! Why waste money (and probably nutrition) with a canned pumpkin when you can make the real thing in 30-45 minutes at home without any major effort. Its so simple and fresh tasting that you would sure think twice the next time you even hear the word “canned”! The taste of your baked goods or any other recipe just becomes so much better by using home made pumpkin puree. The recipe is so simple that it would be a shame not to try it at least once!
We anyways are in a pumpkin buying spree right – what with them stacked everywhere thanks to the season. And while you are buying some, buy one (or two..) to make this puree. You can do other work while half of the work gets done in the oven. I see in many online recipes where they insist that you cut the pumpkin in half and then bake it for 90 minutes or so until tender to make the puree. Or some other go on to describe how you can peel the skin of smaller pumpkins and puree it for the half the time! (Peel the pumpkins! heaven’s no!).
My method works very well for me, where I used a 10 pound pumpkin and completed the whole puree making process in less than those 90 minutes (for baking alone) insisted by those articles. Instead of just halving the pumpkin, I chopped them down into few more pieces, more like quarters and baked them for about 30 minutes. In my 400F oven, it became melting tender in about 25 minutes! I am sure yours wont take much longer than that! (45-50min max – I am estimating ) – why estimate – try to check it out.
You can use any sized pumpkin – I used a 10 pounder Just wash and clean the outside of the pumpkin and wipe dry with paper towels.
The only effort as far as I am concerned was chopping the Pumpkin into 2. That’s when you get the “muscled” guy by your side watching TV to help you – But then I was able to cut it – so its not that hard!
Once done – scrap all the pumpkin fibers/membranes along with the seeds off. You can of course use the pumpkins seeds and roast them to make some delicious pepitas
Now cut these halves into 2. Take a roasting pan and place the pieces upside down (cut side down) along with 1 cup of water. You can rub little canola oil on the surface of the pumpkins ( although its not necc.)
Bake them in a preheated 400F oven for about 30 minutes or until tender. You can check for tenderness by piercing a fork to the flesh of the pumpkins. It will give in v easily.
Also you will find that the surface of the pumpkins turn deep dark orange.
Cool them for few minutes until you can handle them.
Now scoop out the flesh of the pumpkins. The flesh will come off very easily if baked completely.
You can now either mash it using your hands or spoon , but if you want the consistency of a store bought canned pumpkin then use a processor
to make a smooth puree.
Now pour it down a sieve (or cheesecloth or coffee filter ) placed in a deep bowl
Stir with a spoon until all the liquid is sieved completely
and you get some rich thick Pumpkin Puree.
With this on hand – imagine the number of dishes floating out of your kitchen and all smelling and tasting extra special
I will showcase them as and when you send me an entry here for others to get inspired by your creation.