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making pumpkin puree

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Tomorrow or the next day, your local market may put their leftover pumpkins on clearance, and you can pick one up for dirt cheap. But why would you want to do that? After all, Halloween will be pretty much over.

pumpkins

You could make your own pumpkin puree! Yes you can!

You can use pumpkin puree in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin. And it’s nice to know how to turn a dealio that doesn’t really look like food into something delicious. Besides, pumpkin recipes say “autumn” better than almost anything. Yum!

If you have the choice, buy a “pie” pumpkin or “sugar” pumpkin. They usually are smaller, and the flesh is thicker and nicer tasting.

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Hack the thing into quarters.

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Scrape out the seeds and stringy weirdness just like you would if you were carving a jack-o-lantern. Try not to think about the slimy. It will all be over soon. Save the seeds! You’ll need them for tomorrow’s class.

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Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange the pumpkin quarters cut side down on the cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or so, or until fork tender.

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Now you’ll need to de-skin it. The Damsel found that she could easily just peel the skin off, but if your pumpkin doesn’t cooperate, you can just scoop the stuff out with a spoon.

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Put the flesh into a blender or food processor to make it nice and smooth. The Damsel went after it with her trusty stick blender. Check the consistency. If it is drier than the canned stuff, add a little water. If it’s soupy, let it sit in a colander for a while. The closer you can get to canned pumpkin consistency, the better it will be for recipes, but don’t stress.

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You’re done! Use in your favorite pumpkin recipe…pumpkin bread…pumpkin muffins…pumpkin milkshakes…mmmm…

Still, there’s one thing better to do with a pumpkin. Just hang out with one!

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  • Laura Budd

    when you make the pumpkin puree do you add any spices to it? cuz the stuff in the can already has the spices added. see how much i bake with pumpkin? my kids used to do all the baking. i did the eating.

    • damsel

      Laura…I wanted to make sure you saw the reply that someone left earlier. You bring up a great point. You can buy pumpkin pie filling, which indeed already has the spices, or canned pumpkin, which doesn’t. So this stuff would be like the plain canned pumpkin, and then you’d add spices according to whichever recipe you are using. Hope that helps!

  • Miette

    D’oh! he is so cute! hanging out with pumpkins is the best!

  • Mom

    fresh pumpkin cut in chunks can also be cooked in a pressure cooker, then skinned very easily, if you prefer.

  • Sande Nascimento

    Most Canned pumpkin does not have the spices in it yet. There are some that do, but most(Libby) are just pumpkin. Thanks Damsel for sharing all the Pumpkins!

  • http://regardingannie.com annie valentine

    How could a girl with a great how-to post like this be even slightly concerned about planning ward parties?? Good post, I’m all about scratch pumpkin everything.

    • damsel

      This new job gives me the willies! Being in charge of people having fun makes me nervous. What if they hate it? oooo pressure. I’m going to haunt your blog for ideas and confidence.

  • Chloe Rowles

    Oh my…..where did you find the handsome young man in the pumpkin patch!?!?

    • damsel

      Isn’t he the cutest and squishiest?

  • Sande Nascimento

    I have to say it! The first pumpkin pie of the season just came out of the oven…wish it was fresh pumpkin…You are an influence on my weekend cooking damsel!

    • damsel

      Do you have a great trick for filling pumpkin pie? Do you fill it right in the oven?

  • http://sleepycathollow.wordpress.com/ Sleepy Cat Hollow

    Thanks! I was just looking through my cookbooks last night. I wanted to puree my wee pumpkins…and can some pumpkin compote, but couldn’t remember how to do the puree part! :)