After reading some recent posts on The Pioneer Woman Cooks about cooking with pumpkin, I was inspired to try this myself. I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread but I have always used canned pumpkin. I have NEVER made my own pumpkin puree before. Well it is actually really easy, just a little time consuming.
To start I purchased 3 pie pumpkins. These are really easy to find at the grocery stores in October and November and were also available at the pumpkin patch.
I cut off the top of each pumpkin, cut them in half and scooped out the seeds. (Save the seeds for later.)
Next I cut each pumpkin half into quarters and arranged them onto baking sheets.
Roast the pumpkin for about an hour at 350 degrees.
When the pumpkin is nice and tender remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Peel the pumpkin and throw it into the food processor and blend until smooth. If it is too thick you can add a little water. If it is too thin you can strain it in a cheese cloth.
I scooped mine by cupfulls into freezer bags. Store flat in the freezer until ready to use. Set out to thaw or run the bag under cold water for a few minutes.
When you are done you can make roasted pumpkin seeds. These are a great fall snack.
First rinse all the seeds to remove most of the pumpkin gunk. Lay the seeds on a baking sheet and allow them to dry over night. Sprinkle the seeds with a little bit of olive oil and lots of salt and toss to coat. Place the pan in a 250 degree oven until the seeds are nice and brown. This will take several hours and you should stir the seeds around every 15 minutes or so. I like to cook my seeds until they are really brown. I find they are tastier and have a better crunch.
Store the cooked seeds in an airtight container.
More pumpkin recipes coming soon!