Don't be intimidated....it's as easy as pumpkin pie!
I got 10 cups of pumpkin puree (the equivalent of 5 cans) out of this one 10lb. Fairytale pumpkin.
I chose a Fairytale pumpkin because it is hands down the sweetest tasting pumpkin out there, but you can use whatever kind you have.
Let's do this! Grab a bag, a knife or small saw and something to scrape the pumpkin guts out with.
Cut that pumpkin in half. I recommend saving the stem for a project I'll tell you about at the end of this post.
Scrape out the guts and throw them in that plastic bag. If you're a pumpkin seed eater, save your seeds. I'm not. Check out the gorgeous bright orange flesh in this Fairytale pumpkin. (I did not color enhance any of these pictures.)
Bring it in the house, rinse it off, pat it dry and save that stem!
Place the two pumpkin halves cut side down on a foil covered cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake it at 400 degrees for about an hour and a half (longer if your pumpkin is bigger). It should be all shiny and the skin will start to wrinkle slightly.
You should be able to stick a fork in it easily.
Let it cool down for about 45 minutes so you can handle it without burning your fingers, then cut each half into quarters and scoop the flesh out with a metal spoon.
(This picture is a little darker because I didn't have my light on over my stove, but that flesh is still as orange as can be...check it out.)
Put all of that flesh in a big bowl and just stand there being proud of yourself for a moment. Gorgeous right?
Just so you know why you are doing this...take a spoon and taste your pumpkin at this point. Roasting your pumpkin this way brings out the natural sugars in it and it is so good! Just so you know, I do not recommend the method of boiling pumpkin in water to puree it. Pumpkin is already loaded with water and your puree will be too thin and runny. (If you do have water in this big bowl of pumpkin, dump it in a colander and let is sit for a few minutes.)
At this point, you are ready to puree your pumpkin. Some recipes will tell you to use a blender and some say a food processor. Because I love you...I'm going to show you both. I started out using my blender. Just push "puree".
I did the other half with my food processor, which is about 25 years old and still works like a dream, so I just can't replace it with something new and fancier yet.
Both of these methods worked well, but I think I prefer the food processor. The blender made more of a thin puree which is perfect for soups and recipes where you want to stir in some pumpkin. The food processor gave me more of an "applesauce" texture, which is what you want for pies and breads. It probably has something to do with the blades and diameter of the blender and you might be able to control that better by putting less in the blender. I took a comparison picture for you.
You can see that the blender puree on the right is thinner and ran all the way to the edge of my ziploc bag, whereas the food processor puree on the left is a little thicker. I made a little "FP" on the lower right corner of the bag of the food processor pumpkin so I'll know which is which when I want to use it.
I froze my puree in 2 Cup portions because that is about what most recipes call for when they say use a can of pumpkin.
I'd say 10 cups of pumpkin puree ought to get me through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the rest of winter! I'll be sharing some awesome pumpkin recipes that you'll want to try for the upcoming holidays soon, but in the meantime, grab a pumpkin and make your own puree. You'll be glad you did!
Oh....and that stem I told you to save? My friend Kirby over at Kirb Apeal shared the easiest tutorial for a non-sewing girl like me and I'm going to use my pumpkin stem and Kirby's tutorial to make some of my Thanksgiving decor. You can check her project out by clicking HERE. In fact, I'm going to make 2 of them! However, you don't really need a pumpkin stem...Kirby used a stick. Everybody's got a stick, right?
Now...go start eyeing your pumpkins and pick one out to puree. The baking season is almost upon us. Speaking of cooking and recipes....don't forget that our Soups and Sandwiches link party is coming up over at the Inspiration Cafe. Today, my dear friend Mel from Mellywood's Mansion is sharing a bit of Aussie Awesomeness over at the Inspiration Cafe. Check it out by clicking HERE.
Linking up to....