Monday, September 26, 2011

Pureed Pumpkin

Fall has officially arrived!  Or at least that's what the calendar says, anyway.  We're still waiting for it to feel like fall, but I'm already thinking about fall cooking - soups, pumpkin bread, pecan pie.  One of our favorite fall treats is pumpkin bread.  Up until last fall, I'd always used canned pumpkin, but I happened to come across some sugar pumpkins on sale one day, so I figured I'd give homemade pumpkin a try.  I was surprised at how much better the bread tasted when I used my homemade pureed pumpkin as opposed to the canned variety.  It also ended up being cheaper than buying canned pumpkin.  I must apologize that I don't have the price breakdown, since it was a year ago.  If I make pumpkin again this year, I'll be sure to measure my yield and post the price differences.

Pureed Pumpkin
1 sugar pumpkin
Butter, melted
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Wash outside of pumpkin and pat dry.  Cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom; clean out seeds and membrane.

Don't throw out the seeds!!!  They make delicious snacks!
Brush rims of pumpkin halves with melted butter; place cut sides down on prepared baking sheet.  Add 1 cup of water to the baking sheet.

Place pumpkin in oven and roast for 60 - 90 minutes, or until the flesh is tender.  When pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out of the skin.  To get a smooth texture, puree in a food processor.

The pumpkin should be tender enough that the spoon just slides right through it.

Nothing left but the skin!

Pureed pumpkin can be used immediately or frozen for later use.  Unfortunately, the USDA does not recommend canning pumpkin puree.  If you would like to can pumpkin, it should be canned in cubed form, not pureed form.  Instructions for canning cubed pumpkin can be found here.

1 comment:

StaceyN said...

Ooo, we love pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies! Yum! Last year, we had a huge crop of pumpkins that all ended up being fed to our pigs because the plants died of some sort of fungus before the pumpkins ripened all the way (so I guess we had pumpkin pork LOL!). Anyway, I ended up pureeing some butternut squash and some of those funny cylindrical winter squash with the really dark orange flesh (have no idea what they’re called). They were much smoother and sweeter than pumpkin and substituted for it perfectly! So I think we might forgo the pumpkin again this year and just process the other winter squash.

We have been eating small green pumpkins as summer squash this year, and they are delicious. They are much heartier and nuttier in flavor than a traditional summer squash, almost like a cross between a Yukon potato and a zucchini. And that way, it doesn’t matter if the plants all die of alien fungus in late fall, hee, hee.

Can't wait to read some of your favorite pumpkin recipes. Our favorite is a “healthy” pumpkin pie sweetened with dates and made with whole wheat crust. That way we can feel good about eating it for breakfast :-)!

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