Pumpkin puree is used in a wide variety of recipes, it is very versatile and freezes like a dream.
A couple years ago I was making a bunch of pumpkin recipes for a school event, that buying a can per recipe seemed more expensive than it was worth. With a couple Sugar Pumpkins, you can make enough pumpkin puree to last several recipes.
Homemade pumpkin puree is so easy to make you'll never buy canned again!
Step 1: The Pumpkins
Sugar pumpkins are usually recommended for baking because they aren't as stringy as larger pumpkins, they're also supposed to be sweeter too.
I've baked with purees made from both and haven't noticed a big difference aside from sugar pumpkins being easier to manage due to their smaller size. However, depending on how many cups of puree you need, one big pumpkin might be cheaper than a couple small sugar pumpkins.
1 sugar pumpkin can usually yield 3-4 cups of puree.
Step 2: Prep
Preheat oven to 400.
I'm in the habit of washing all my fruits and vegetables before use, even though you don't use the skin of the pumpkin in puree, I still wash it.
Cut your pumpkins down the middle so you have two even sides. Scoop out all of the pumpkin guts and seeds. (Seeds can be saved for roasting)
Step 3: Roast
On a lined baking sheet, place your pumpkin halves and stick them in the oven. How long the pumpkins take to roast depends on how big they are, but after 25 minutes I start poking them with a fork every 5-10 minutes until the fork goes in and out smoothly (kind of like a baked potato).
When the pumpkins are done, remove from oven and let cool.
Step 4: Puree
Pumpkin flesh is easier to remove when it's still hot, but also harder to handle. So as soon as you're able, start scooping all of the flesh from the pumpkin and put it in your blender. Once all of the pumpkin flesh is scooped, blend the flesh until you have a puree. Sometimes I will add a 1/8th cup of water or more, but this isn't usually needed.
Step 5: Done!
Now that your puree is done you can use it right away in a recipe, store in the fridge up to 7 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
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