Recipe by Kim D.
Making fresh pumpkin puree is very simple, but can be a little time consuming. However, I think the end product is worth the effort. I always use "sugar" pumpkins, also known as "pie" pumpkins. They are much smaller than the standard pumpkin that we carve for Halloween and are much more tender and flavorful. --NOTE-- Baking time is only 1 - 1 1/2 hours and the remainder of the noted cooking time in this recipe is actually refrigeration time. --CHOOSING THE RIGHT PUMPKIN-- When buying a pumpkin for baking, always choose a pumpkin that is free of blemishes and have been harvested with their stems intact. The pumpkin should feel heavy for their size and should have a dull skin. A pumpkin with a shinny skin was either harvested too early or was waxed by the grower. --STORING PUMPKINS-- Store pumpkins in a cool, dry place at 45F - 60F for up to a month, or refrigerate for up to 3 months. To store pumpkins for an extended time, wash the skins of the pumpkin with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach to 1 gallon water to disinfect the skins and discourage the growth of mold.
- 1 (3 3/4-4 lb) sugar pumpkin (or pie pumpkins)
- aluminum foil
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line one baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Line another baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
- Rinse dirt off the outside of the pumpkins and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Cut pumpkins in half, vertically, with a large knife.
- Scoop out seeds and pulp from each pumpkin half with a large spoon, separating the seeds and the pulp.
- Discard pulp and save the seeds for another use if desired.
- If saving the seeds, wash them thoroughly and spread them onto the baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow to dry. ( I bake them later for a snack).
- Place pumpkin halves cut side down onto the foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until flesh is tender.
- Cool the pumpkin halves until they are cool enough to handle.
- Scoop out pumpkin flesh and place it in a food processor.
- Puree flesh until smooth.
- Line a strainer with either cheesecloth or coffee filters.
- Pour puree into the strainer.
- Place strainer on top of a bowl large enough to catch the juices and place both in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Discard the juices in the bowl and use the puree for pies, biscuits, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, dog treats and more!