You know that it’s Fall when pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere! I have to say that I do not complain about it at all! I can’t get enough. If you are planning on using actual pumpkin in a recipe (aka pumpkin pie) I highly recommend trying to make your own pumpkin puree instead of buying it. It’s that time of year that you can find “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins in the grocery store. These are the ones that you use to make puree… not the big regular size pumpkins that you get at the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are so beautiful to decorate with, and they are one of my favorite fall foods to cook and bake with!
There is a big difference with fresh vs canned pumpkin puree. The fresh color is much brighter, the texture is smooth and rich, AND it smells amazing. Sometimes canned pumpkin can smell like old pumpkin to me. It’s super super easy! You roast and puree. I use a food processor, but if you have a great blender you may be able to use that instead… BUT I have not tried it out so don’t quote me on that.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
All you need is a “sugar” or “pie” pumpkin
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
*Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
*Snap off the stem; if it doesn’t snap off easily you can slice the top off
*Slice down the center using a large knife
*Use a spoon to scoop out the insides; separate the seeds to roast later
*Place the pumpkin halves cut side down
*Bake for 45-60 minutes
*You know it is done when the insides have softened and you can pierce it with a fork without much resistance
*Let the pumpkin cool on a rack until you are able to handle them
*Using a large spoon, scoop the insides of the roasted pumpkin into a food processor
*Puree until silky and smooth
*Place a cheese cloth over a strainer and scoop the pureed pumpkin into the cloth.
*Let strain for a couple hours to remove excess liquid
*After the puree has been straining for a couple hours I like to squeeze any extra liquid out through the cheese cloth
*Store in a closed container in the refrigerator until ready to use
Now you have silky, thick, rich puree that you can use in so many recipes!