Homemade Pumpkin Puree

• 19 November 2008

Making a pumpkin pie from scratch is not as difficult as it may sound. True, you fore go the traditional can o' Libby's, but I promise the homemade alternative is worth the teensy bit of extra effort. Your pie will be brighter in color, richer in texture, and more delicious in taste. It's a win-win, right?

Here's how you make pumpkin puree:

* Buy a sugar pumpkin...sometimes labeled a "pie pumpkin". These are the sweetest pumpkins and are made for yummy uses like pumpkin pie :)

* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

* Wash your pumpkin.

* Cut pumpkin into fourths

* Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Cook for 45-50 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

* Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow the pumpkin pieces to cool.

* Remove seeds and stringy pulp thoroughly (I opt to do this post-baking because it is so much easier).

* Process pumpkin flesh in a food processor (or in my case...a blender!) until smooth.

* Place a colander inside a larger bowl; place the puree inside the colander.

* Refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours, allowing extra liquid to drain.

* Use quickly or place in freezer bags. Make sure you pre-measure the puree portions according to the recipe you'll likely use. For example, if your favorite pie recipe asks for one 28 oz can of pumpkin, measure out 28 ounces. This will save you a lot of time later and will allow you to use your puree more efficiently.

I promise that you'll do this once and won't look back!

P.S. While you are taking the time to make a homemade puree, why not quadruple the recipe and save the excess for future use?


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