Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Puree

It's Thanksgiving week so instead of sharing thoughts and pictures of my precious son, I'm going to share recipes! Several of them are pumpkin related, so I'm going to start the week with my roasted pumpkins.

A lazy Saturday I got a call from a sweet friend alerting me that pumpkins were free at a nearby Calloway's. We were headed out for our weekly grocery store trip so we decided to swing by and grab some.

We got 3 and baked them all!

I've heard that baking pumpkins makes watery pumpkin puree. This has not been my experience. I baked one just as practice a week or so ago and it turned out great. Probably a little more watery than canned, and definitely not as consistent - you never know what you're going to get with a pumpkin! - but it was awesome. I baked the pumpkin whole last week but because the seeds cooked inside it was more difficult to roast them. So with these 3 we sliced them first and pulled the seeds out for roasting before roasting them.

First we scrubbed the pumpkins. I know you don't eat the skin, but it's good to give them a good scrub before cutting into them. Then I had my sweet husband get out the cleaver and hack away! He sliced through the first one with ease. The other two took a little more effort, but eventually we had six halves of pumpkins!

I opted not to season the pumpkins so that I could use them in different things. I can season the puree after they are cooked. I placed the halves face down on cookie sheets and baked them for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Depending on your pumpkin size and density, they might cook longer or shorter. Cook them until the flesh is soft and the skin can easily be pierced with a knife.

Once the pumpkins are done, carefully turn them over and allow them to cook for 20-30 minutes.

When the pumpkins are cool, it's time to puree! You can do this in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. I found the immersion blender worked best, but that's because I don't have a decent blender or food processor...

Depending on the size, ripeness, and color of the pumpkin, the puree varied in sweetness, water concentration, and consistency. I opted to mix all the puree together without regard for the different pumpkins. I imagine this wouldn't be the best technique if making pumpkin pie or something like that.

The 3 pumpkins made about 8 cups of puree. It's definitely not as easy as buying a can, but it's nice to know the only thing in it is pumpkin! I've already used some of it to make pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin bread. Get ready, I'll be sharing those recipes soon!

Have you ever roasted pumpkin? 

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