This is a first for me. I never really thought about making my own pumpkin puree until I saw the cute, little pie pumpkins at Trader Joe's. I ended up getting a few more pumpkins from Freecycle (yea!) and so made a giant batch of 7 pie pumpkins. Ambitious… I realized this about half way through the process.
Even though this is my first pumpkin cooking journey, I figured it was worth writing about and I have no idea when I will do this again.
Before I heated the oven I did my research. There are a few ways to get the good stuff. You can cut it up and stick it in the oven. You can chop it up and toss it into a slow cooker. Or you can do what I did… simply deposit the pumpkins into the oven.
I set up with the cutting board area. A little bowl for the seeds (planning on roasting them later) and a huge bowl for the flesh of the pumpkins. Separating the seeds from the hot stringy goop was the part that took a long time and made quite a mess. Every time I had to stop I had to scrub my whole arms.
I noticed that the smaller the pumpkin, the more seeds and water there was.
When I was done cutting up the pumpkins I looked online again. I noticed that each website I came across used either a blender or a food processor to puree the stuff. What a mess! I decided to use my immersion blender. Much easier I think.
Looking at the puree, I decided that I needed to strain the orange puree. I know you can use a paper towel, but I just happen to have had some new cheesecloth. I rigged up a bowl with a large colander (I rarely use this but it sure comes in handy to have!) containing the cheesecloth. Once I had the pumpkin inside, I covered it with foil and stuck it in the refrigerator overnight.
|In the Fridge on top of my batch of Granola Bars|
Please note that I started this process at 3pm Sunday with a brief pause for dinner and putting kids in the shower and bed, I finally stuck the puree in the refrigerator at 8pm.
I picked this up again the next day.
I took the juice and saved it in a jar. I ended up using some of it in place of water in a batch of pancakes. No need to let the nutrition go to waste...
|Check out all this juice!|
I started portioning out the pumpkin for freezing. I find it very interesting that pumpkin cannot be home canned...
|Plus extra for pie!|
|Double bagged for the freezer.|
My husband saw what I was doing and asked for pumpkin pie… so I ended up with 6 portions to freeze and 2 pumpkin pies (that were really good! And surprisingly easy to make).
One pie did not last long. I mixed a couple recipes that I found on allrecipes with one I found from Paula Dean. It is a really good thing I made the other one to freeze for latter!