Autumn is the time for all things pumpkiny and delicious. While most people just pick up a can or two of pumpkin at the store, I prefer making my own. I think it has a lot more flavor and it is cheaper.
A few years ago there was a shortage of the canned pumpkin, but you know what? I had as much as I needed all season long.
If you want to try your hand at making your own pumpkin puree for pies, muffins, and other recipes hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how.
- Buy a pie pumpkin. These can usually be found in the produce section of your grocery store. They are smaller than the kind you carve. They have more flesh and flavor that the bigger Jack-o-lantern pumpkins.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cut the stem off and then cut the pumpkin in half.
- Scrape out the seeds and as much of the stringy stuff as you can.
- Rub the exposed flesh of the pumpkin with vegetable oil.
- Roast the pumpkin, flesh side up, until it is very tender. The top may caramelize and turn a little brown but this is a good thing.
- Roast it until it is as dark as you want but watch it carefully.
- Let the pumpkin cool.
- Scoop out the flesh into a food mill if you have one, and turn the crank until all of the pumpkin has been pureed through the mill. This removes any of the stringy stuff thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s left. If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a food mill you can push it through a sieve or mash it with a few pulses in a food processor.
- If it seems too watery, you can simmer it on the stove, stirring often, until some of the water cooks off.
Once you have the puree, you can use it any way you would the canned kind. Store it tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it.Ã‚Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really easy.
Have you ever made your own pumpkin puree?
photo credit: marye audet