Thursday, November 8, 2012

Roasting Pumpkins

This time of year, I'm craving all things pumpkin: cookies, bread, muffins, shakes, soup, even pie.  To feed my pumpkin habit, I need some pumpkin.  And of course I could just go to the store and buy some pumpkin-in-a-can.  That works.  But one of AKD's friends brought over some pie pumpkins for us, so we made our own fresh pumpkin puree.

scooped out small pie pumpkin
Here's how. 
  1. Obtain a pie pumpkin.  Yes, there is such a thing.  They're generally smaller and have more pulp with less seeds, and tend to taste a bit sweeter.  They should be on clearance right now at your grocery store or the farmer's market (if your farmer's market is still open).  If you can't find a pie pumpkin, any pumpkin will do.
  2. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Don't worry about getting all of  the stringy stuff out.
  4. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, in a baking pan with a rim and add about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Roast at 350* F until tender.  How do you know if it's tender?  Turn it over and stick a fork in it.  Ours were large-ish, as far as pie pumpkins go, and they took about an hour and 15 minutes. 
  6. When they're tender, scoop the flesh out and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

That's it!  So easy!  We used some fresh pumpkin puree to make a pie (and it was an extraordinarily delicious pie), and froze the rest in 1 cup portions for future use.  One 16 oz can of pumpkin equals about 2 cups.

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