So I know that buying pumpkin purée in a can at the store is convenient and all, but I truly believe that you can taste the difference between canned, store bought and fresh, homemade pumpkin pureé. And who doesn’t like knowing exactly what’s going into their food? Ok, 80% of America doesn’t…but I know I do. And you should too.
There is something magical about taking an entire pumpkin and turning it into a deliciously smooth pureé over a couple of hours. Use it to make pumpkin bread, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin pie, or to spice up your oatmeal. If you can’t use all of it at once, freeze it in 2 c portions for use later. Once you make fresh pumpkin purée you’ll never go back to canned.
Fresh Pumpkin Purée
1 pumpkin (sugar, crooked neck,…really any kind of pumpkin)
1 tbs canola oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut up your pumpkin into chunks. Mine are always different sizes but if you are talented enough, then try to get the pieces similar in size. Remove all of the seeds and stringy bits (set aside the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds!). Drizzle oil on a cookie sheet, put the pumpkin pieces on the sheet, and flip them so that they are lightly covered in oil. Cover with a sheet of foil and place in the heated oven. Roast for about 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on the size of your pieces. The pumpkin is done when it is fork/knife tender. Remove from oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes with the foil off then remove the skin from the meat. Using a potato masher or food processor, mash/blend the pumpkin until smooth.
Now, it’s ready to use in all kinds of delicious fall/winter dishes. Enjoy!