I’ve purchased many pumpkins in my life, but they’ve always been for carving or other decoration purposes. And when I want pumpkin for baking purposes, I’ve always relied on good old canned pumpkin.
But since our CSA gave us several small sugar pumpkins last week, I decided that it was finally time for me to make my own pumpkin puree. It’s not really that hard. Time-consuming, yes, but easy. Here’s the process I followed:
1. Thoroughly rinse outside of pumpin to get rid of dirt and other gunky stuff.
2. Cut pumpkin in half vertically. Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff. (Save seeds and roast them later w/ butter & kosher salt!)
3. Place pumpkin halves flesh-side-down in a 9×13 baking pan. Add water to come 1/4-inch up sides of pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until pumpkin flesh is soft and scrapes easily away from skin.
5. Scoop out flesh into large bowl. (I used a cookie dough scoop.) Puree the pumpkin until smooth. (I used a stick blender, but you could also use a food processor, hand mixer, etc.)
From what I’ve read, you can refrigerate this puree if you intend to use it within 3-5 days, or put in freezer bags, squeeze out excess air, and freeze for months.
It looked like good pumpkin puree, but the real question is — does it produce yummy baked goods? I put it to the test this morning with pumpkin muffins:
The verdict in our house? YUM. I’m pretty sure these muffins will be gone by the end of the day.
Just one reason I love fall.