Hello again, everyone! It's Michille, Elizabeth's spaztastic (and favorite) child. Today, we're going to go through the tedious process of pureeing a pumpkin. It can be time consuming, but it's ultimately worth it. With the pumpkin I'm demonstrating with today (which I got on sale for $1) I managed to make about 8 cans worth!!!
To start, let me get you your list of things you'll need.
1 large pumpkin
2 roasting pans
Quart-sized freezer bags
About 2 hours
Step 1: Wash your pumpkin! Let me introduce you to mine:
Step 2: This is where the pumpkin stops being a person-pumpkin. Otherwise it's creepy and I'd feel awful. It's just a regular pumpkin now. Cut the top off of it, jack-o-lantern style, and proceed to cut the pumpkin into quarters, like so.
Step 3: Scoop out the seeds, I always find that using an ice cream scoop works best. Go ahead and toss the lid, you won't need it. It should now resemble this. You can toss the seeds or reserve for roasting.
Step 4: Place the quartered pieces into 2 separate roasting pans (or however many pans you need) and put about an inch of water in the bottom of each pan.
Step 5: Roast the pumpkin in a 300 degree oven for about an hour and let cool. The skin should peel easily.
Step 6: Peel (or cut) the skin off, cube the pumpkin into 2 inch cubes, and put in a large bowl. Reserve the pumpkin water. Go ahead and toss the skin, you won't need it.
Step 7: Get out the blender! (I loathe this part. That's why my husband does it. =^.^= ) Put in the pieces and add a bit of the pumpkin water for easier blending. You'll have to more than likely stop it once in awhile and give it a stir or two to get it going again. Pour the puree into a large bowl.
Step 8: Scoop 2 cups by the half-cupful into each quart-sized freezer bag. Try to push out as much air as possible. Seal the bags securely. Once they're sealed, you can wipe or rinse the excess puree off of them carefully. When they're done, dry the bags completely with a cloth and write the date, the contents, and the amount (2 cups) on them.
And there you have it, guys. It's a little tedious, but it's ultimately worth grabbing a bag of fresh pumpkin whenever you need it in the months when it's not in season. If you're going to use them for pies, be sure to squeeze the puree through cheesecloth or a similar textured thin cloth to drain out the moisture. Also, it should be known that smaller pumpkins are generally more ideal for pies. However, if you're like me, pumpkin is pumpkin and I love it all. Pumpkin pies, bread, pancakes....yum!
What's your favorite pumpkin recipe?