ALERT! ALERT! Sound the alarm!! It is the middle of October and we are in FULL PUMPKIN MODE! How long have you been eyeing those pie pumpkins at the farmer’s market or grocery store and wonder to yourself, ‘hmm what can I use that for besides decoration?’ At one point in my life, that was me. To me it seemed like the grocery store was selling home decor in the produce section, and I was confused. Why not just buy the canned stuff?
Don’t get me wrong, the canned stuff is great (by canned stuff I mean Libby’s, of course). Canned pumpkin has been apart of the best course at the Thanksgiving table – dessert! My aunt makes the best sweet potatoe pumpkin pie, no arguments please, and canned pumpkin helped make it happen. BUT making your own pumpkin purée at home is entertaining and overall just awesome. And you can use the pumpkins as home decor until you get ready to bake and purée. For about two weeks now I’ve had a pumpkin sitting out as decor trembling in his boots wondering when his time will run out. Mwah ha ha! How halloweeny.
All you need is an oven, a knife, and a blender. Oh, and some plastic baggies because we are freezing the leftovers! I love the freezer, it makes life so much easier. You can roast however many pumpkins your little heart desires and freeze the purée up to a year.
Maybe you’re thinking ugh why on earth would I purée a whole pumpkin when all I can make is pie? And I wouldn’t blame you. BUT DO IT BECAUSE I HAVE SO MANY PUMPKIN RECIPES I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU!! Like, butternut squash soup, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin dinner rolls, pumpkin polenta……the list goes on and on…
Let’s get to the point here: how to make your own pumpkin purée . First, cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the guts. Cut off the stem. You can go ahead and quarter the pumpkin or just leave it in half at this point. Bake the pumpkin at 350F for 45 min to 1 hour. The skin will just peeeeeeeeel right off. It will practically jump off the pumpkin. Throw all the innards into a blender and blend until smooth. That’s it! See? totally easy. It involves very little work, just the way I like it.
If you’re using the pumpking within the next day or two go ahead and store it in the fridge. Otherwise, to the freezer it goes! I store the puree in a plastic baggy in either 4oz or 8oz portions. I always date and label the baggie so I know what it is – otherwise I would have no clue what the heck is in my freezer. (I imagine it would go something like this: Is this pumpkin? how long has this buttermilk been here? Is this chicken stock? Who put this in here? oh, right, I did..) Do you run into this issue?
Go ahead and try this!! Add it to anything you would normally add canned pumpkin. Let me know how it turns out!
- Pie pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringys
- Place pumpkin on baking sheet
- Bake for 45 min to 1 hour, until pumpkin can be pierced easily with a fork
- Peel skin off pumpkin
- Place pumpkin in blender and blend until smooth