This is a great way to take a fresh pumpkin and make your own "canned" pumpkin at home. I actually just freeze mine and vacuum seal for long-term storage. Very easy, just takes time. Expecially great if you're worried about preservatives or processed foods. *A 20 pound pumpkin yields about 16 cups of pumpkin puree.
- 1 pumpkin (pie pumpkins taste best, but a carving pumpkin works fine too)
- pumpkin juice, if needed (reserved from cooking process)
- Wash the outside of your pumpkin. DO NOT POKE HOLES IN THE PUMPKIN, PLACE IN THE OVEN WHOLE! Take your pumpkin and place in a cake pan in the oven at 300* F until it slumps in (will look rather disgusting at this point). For a big pumpkin, this will take about 3-3.5 hours. Smaller pumpkins will take less time.
- After pumpkin has slumped and is very tender to poke with a fork, remove from the oven.
- Allow to cool until it is still very warm, but cool enough to handle.
- Cut the top of the pumpkin off as you would for a jack-o-lantern.
- Scoop out the seeds and "guts" and set aside. Reserve pumpkin juice.
- Start a section at a time and cut your pumpkin into pieces. Scoop the cooked pumpkin off the skin and place in the blender on "puree". Puree until it looks like applesauce. If your puree looks drier than apple sauce, add some of the pumpkin juice from the seeding step until it resembles the right consistency.
- Place in freezer bags (2 cup aliquots work well) and freeze until time to use. I like to freeze mine in vacuum seal bags and then vacuum seal after frozen for longer storage.