Last year canned pumpkin was scarce due to the bad weather and much of the pumpkin crops were wiped out. We are still feeling the effects of that shortage right now, and it’s hard to find canned pumpkin on the shelves. I have decided to turn to making the pumpkin puree myself. It’s easier than you think. Sugar pumpkins are the recommended pumpkin to use. They are smaller and sweeter, but I could not find any at the store. I searched for the smallest “carving” pumpkin I could find and tested it out. It worked out really nice and I’m excited to make more and keep the pumpkin recipes flowing.
One thing I had not expected was the amount of liquid the freshly pureed pumpkin produced. I went and got out my strainer and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight draining. That worked! I now have a beautiful puree that is going to be made in pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes and whole lot more.
- 3-4 sugar pumpkins or 1 small “carving pumpkin”
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the tops and bottoms off the pumpkins, then slice in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy inside. (If using a larger pumpkin, cut the halves into smaller pieces)
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet, cut side down and bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours, or until the color of the pumpkin has darkened. To make sure it is done, insert fork into the flesh; the pumpkin should be very tender. Let the pumpkin cool to room temperature.
- Using a blender or food processor, scoop out the pulp of the pumpkin into the blender or food processor. Puree pumpkin till smooth.
- Line a mesh sieve/strainer with a paper towel and place the puree in the strainer. Let sit in a refrigerator, covered overnight. The puree can now be used or stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.