Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

November 25, 2013

homemade pumpkin puree.

I've had two baby pumpkins forever (only one is shown above .. the other was already chopped). They've been waiting patiently on the counter for about a month, while I've been watching them decline into what was soon to be foul fish-smelling, melting, rotting orange flesh (I hope none of you have ever experienced a severely neglected pumpkin).

Fortunately, recently I was able to come back to the apartment in time to make dinner! A rare occurrence mind you. 

And before I starting sauteeing onions, mushrooms, corn, and alfalfa sprouts with farro and egg, I prepared these pumpkins for a nice toasty visit to the oven.

Cutting the tops off was the hardest part. This problem would easily be ameliorated by a knife that was actually sharp, but I am still in college, soooooo I used what was available. Speaking of college, let's ignore the fact that 1. May marks the end of me being able to avoid real life and 2. my ever-growing love of parasites is not sufficient to get me a real job/volunteer opportunity for my gap year before medical school. 

Anyway, pumpkins .. 

These pumpkins actually had a destiny. A friend and I were supposed to bake them and then make pie using our homemade puree. Said friend took a little too long and is just slightly involved in a situation that is currently making him sort of unavailable. 

So I took the liberty of roasting them on my own. I've cooked pumpkin in the past, using bigger ones (not sugar pumpkins) and I cooked them in a pressure cooker. This time, I baked them. One pan had a little water on the bottom, the other did not. The water is a good idea, I think. 

Keep the seeds!!! For real though, clean, roast, and salt 'em.

What can you do with the ton of puree you'll have leftover? How about pumpkin pie bars? Or muffins, if you would rather not destroy that great workout you just had? If you want a deviation from oatmeal, I highly suggest making pumpkin pie chia seed pudding. Maybe I should blog about that .. 

Until then, enjoy your pumpkin endeavours!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

1. Cut the tops of the pumpkins. 
2. Halve. Take the seeds/stringy stuff out as best as possible. 
3. Cut the halves in half, so you're left with quarters. If the pumpkin is medium-sized or big, maybe cut thirds of each half. The sizes of all the pieces should be roughly uniform. 
4. Place the halves evenly on rimmed baking sheets/pans. Add enough water to come up about 0.5" up the sides. 
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes. 
6. Peel the skin off. Use the best method you can. I pulled off as much came off. Then I used a fork and dug under the skin to loosen it before pulling it off. If there was excess flesh stuck to the skin, I scraped it off with the fork. No waste!!
7. Puree the flesh a little at a time in a food processor. Add water by the tablespoon, if the puree looks too dry. If you roast them with water in the pan, though, they shouldn't be too bad. You don't want watery puree!
8. Use in all variety of baked goods, cooking, etc!

- choose smaller pumpkins - sugar pumpkins are those that are recommended. Mine were called "Baby Pams," and I bought them from Shoprite. 
- use a fork to help peel the skin off if necessary ... the skin may be tough to pull even if the pumpkin is cooked, so just find the best way you think to do it!

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