Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade Pumpkin


I hope everyone had a nice Columbus Day weekend :)  My family and I spent it just relaxing around the house...being lazy.  I rounded up my kids once again and decided that I would teach them how to make our own homemade pumpkin puree.  Honestly, I had no clue how simple and easy it was to make your own pumpkin puree.  But now that I know, I will never go back to using canned pumpkin :)

 I had heard through a little birdie that Libby's (not me...but the factory that produces those wonderful cans of pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling) was having a shortage on canned pumpkin.  I'm not sure how true that rumor is because I ended up purchasing 4 big cans of pumpkin from the store the other day.  Alas, I still wanted to learn how to make my own because...well...I love making anything homemade.  Needless to say, we have pumpkin coming out from everywhere now in our house! 

I also want to thank my friend, Susan, for telling me how she makes her own pumpkin. I took Susan's advice, followed the instructions from a post of another well known cooking blog, and before I knew it our own pumpkin puree was done :)

Take notes because once you see how super easy this is, you may never want to go back to purchasing canned pumpkin again :) 

Step 1:  We start with 2 regular sized baking pumpkins.  I found these at our local grocery store in the produce section.  Do not use the huge pumpkins in the stores.  The one's that you need are called "sugar" pumpkins or "pie pumpkins" and they are usually the little one's that are on display. 



Step 2:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the pumpkins in a casserole dish and roast them for 35-40 minutes.  This is to soften up that rough outer layer so it will be easier to cut.  When it comes out of the oven, it should have a little brown tint to them and come out shining like a brand new penny.  Let them cool.



Step 3:  After they have cooled, rip out the stem and cut the pumpkin in half.



Step 4:  Scoop out the yucky stringy stuff and seeds.  If you like toasted or roasted pumpkin seeds, you can save them for that :)  Cut the hollow and gutted pumpkin halves into fourths and place them on a baking sheet greased with cooking spray.  Be sure to place pieces cut side down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Step 5:  Once out of the oven, let them cool.  You can tell if they're done by sticking a fork in them.  If the fork goes through without any difficulty, then they are done.  The bottoms should be mushy and soft.  Once cooled, scoop out the mushy part of each piece and collect it in a bowl. 



Step 6:  After all the pumpkin is collected in bowl, use a food processor, potato masher, or even a fork to break up the big chunks and get that perfect mashed consistency.  If the pumpkin looks to thick, you can add 1/4 cup water to the bowl to thin it out. 

Place in ziplock bags and freeze.  I froze mine in 2 cup measurements for baking purposes.


And presto....you have your very own stash of pumpkin puree!  Easy peasy! 


Yummm!  I can't wait to start using this in the recipes I have planned to make :)

For more information on making your own pumpkin puree, click here Our Best Bites-Homemade Pumpkin

9 thoughtful comments around the table:

  1. I loved this post Libby! Every time I thought of making my own pumpkin puree I always thought of cutting the top off and cleaning out the insides like when you carve one. LOL! - I don't know why I made it so hard in my mind! I never put two and two together and paid attention to the fact that you use the little pumpkins and you just cut them up. It looks a lot easier than carving a pumpkin. I'm anxious to see what you're going to be making with that pumpkin :D

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  2. I just made some puree too and it is so easy! Last year was the first time I had made it myself and decied I couldn't use the canned stuff after that. All those seeds in the trash:( You don't even like them candied or spiced? It really is delish!

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  3. Libby,

    Thanks for the tip, every year I buy a few of those pumpkins then end up letting them go to waste because I am so intimidated by making my own but that seems so easy.

    Thanks,
    Carey

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  4. Kim and Carey: Until I read the instructions on how to do this, I always thought it was hard and was intimidated myself. It seriously is pretty easy to make :)

    Friedgreentomatoes: No...we don't like pumpkin seeds. I made the toasted version one year and we really didn't like it. Maybe I need to try a different recipe for them?? Not sure.

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  5. how cool, i would never think to do this myself, great job!

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  6. Ohmygoodness! You are definitely a woman after my own heart! I have barely reviewed your blog, but have already added your button to my blog - www.thebetterbaker.blogspot.com You 'snagged' me with your introduction saying you are a military wife - Ya had me right there, because I am a military wife too (retired), but nevertheless, our hearts are in the same mindset. Then I saw this post about pumpkin puree! I am planning to share my own pictures of doing this very thing recently! Great job - keep up the good work. Oh how excited I am to find you and look forward to getting to know you better soon.

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  7. Martha, it's so nice to meet you :) I am looking forward to getting to know you better also....Military Spouse to Military Spouse ;) I just became a follower of your blog :)

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  8. I always freak out about making my own pumpkin puree`!!! I thought I would have to for sure this year since I can't seem to find the cans of it in stores!!! (lol, I know!! I am terrible!! I use the can stuff!!!) Maybe I will try it this year on my own. It really doesn't seem that hard anymore!

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  9. Laura, I freaked out about making it too until I found out how easy it is. The pumpkin shortage may still be going on from last year...so it's good to know that you can always make it from scratch if need be ;) I still have one big can of pumpkin in my pantry from last year and the expiration date says 2011....LOL...so don't feel bad about using the canned stuff. I probably still will use the can on occasion if I can find it.

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