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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pumpkin Puree

I am a HUGE pumpkin lover.  I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin flavored drinks, the list could go on and on.  Most of us had some pumpkins left over from our Halloween decorations... I didn't... haha. But I was able to collect a few from some friends who were not going to be doing anything but throwing theirs away.  I cooked them down into a puree and froze the results :) If you have never done it before, it is a bit time consuming but it is well worth the effort.  In my area, the grocery stores have been out of canned pumpkin puree for weeks before Thanksgiving and, heck, home-made ALWAYS tastes better than canned, right?? 
Here is how it is done:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.  Cut the pumpkin (you can also use squash, you will never taste the difference) in half and scoop out the seeds.  Cut into large chunks.  Place on a cookie sheet and pour about one cup of water into the pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the 'meat' of the pumpkin is soft. 
2. When the pumpkin is done, you should be able to peal the skin right off the 'meat'.  You may need to scoop some of the meat away from the skin.
Sorry my picture quality is so poor.  I promise to work on that :)
3.  Put the cooked 'meat' in a blender or squoosh by hand using a fork.  You may need to add some water.  Try about one tbs at a time to avoid making it too runny. 
4.  Because canned puree normally comes in 8 or 15 oz cans, I froze mine in two cup increments....we made delicious pumpkin bread and pie. 
You would never guess that it wasn't from a can.  It was so scrumptious!  and it cost me nothing except the time and electricity to run my oven and blender!!! 
I started with 4 pumpkins and two long-neck squash.  As you can see, it made A LOT! The equivalent to something like 32 cans of puree.

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