Thursday, October 8, 2009
Ok, you can buy pumpkin puree in a can, but please, just don't do it in the fall when you can make it yourself. It's so easy and I'm going to show you how step by step.
First, you want to get some Sugar Pumpkins. These are small cooking pumpkins.
Preheat oven to 375F. Then, cut the pumpkin in half.
Scrape out the seeds and guts into a bowl. Keep the seeds and guts. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on oiled non-stick foil (or you can oil the cut edge of the pumpkin). I usually just drizzle a little olive oil on my foiled sheet pan and then spin the pumpkins cut side around in the oil. Place them in the oven. They are going to cook for about an hour.
Look at all those great seeds. You didn't really want to throw that out did you? Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and make great snacks (more on that in a minute).
Separate the seeds from the goo. You can do this by squeezing the goo. Put the seeds on a sheet pan covered in non-stick foil. You don't need to rinse them. Now you can add some oil and seasonings and roast them. You want just enough oil to lightly coat them. I usually go with a mixture of hot sesame oil, sesame oil, a pinch of five spice powder, and some salt or soy sauce. Pop them in the oven under the pumpkins and cook for 15-30 minutes until well browned. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
Here is what's left of my pumpkin. The goo. Now, you can throw this away or you can add it to vegetable stock scraps if you are making your own stock later. Pumpkin guts in the stock is especially good if you are going to make a pumpkin or butternut squash risotto.
When the seeds are done, they will look like this. Cool and eat.
When the pumpkin is done, you will be able to poke it and leave a dent. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle it.
The pumpkin skin will now just pull away, leaving you with all the good pumpkin. Put the pumpkin into a food processor and blend until pureed.
Here is what my puree looked like.
You can freeze this and use it later. I like to freeze it in 1 cup amounts for recipes. Or, you can now go and make some skanky pumpkin squares, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin waffles!