Pumpkin Puree

Most pumpkin recipes call for a pureed form of the winter squash. You could bother with peeling, cutting and boiling the pumpkin meat, or you could use this simple technique that roasts the pumpkin right in the rind.

A moderate oven, about 350°F (175°C) will help evaporate the water while allowing the sugars to caramelize and slightly intensifying the pumpkins flavor.  I prefer to roast the pumpkin facing up, as I believe this maximizes the evaporation of water, which can dilute the pumpkin flavor.  Some cooks choose to microwave the pumpkin before hand to reduce roasting time, but I feel this defeats the purpose of roasting in the first place. A little extra time in the oven means additional caramelization.

As a rule of thumb, a pound of raw pumpkin will produce about a cup of pumpkin puree, or, in metric terms, 500g will yield about 250ml.

1.

Set the pumpkin on it's side. With a large chef's knife, carefully cut away just enough of the top to remove the stem and the immediate area around it.Cut off the top area with the stem.

2.

Rest the pumpkin on its bottom and carefully cut down the middle into two halves.Cut the pumpkin in half.

3.

With a large spoon, remove the seeds and stringy pulp from the center of each half. Use the edge of the spoon to clean and scrape the inside walls.Remove seeds and stringy pulp.

4.

Set both pumpkin halves face-up on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Bake on the center rack of a 350°F (175°C) oven until the pumpkin flesh is fork-tender, about 45 minutes.*Roast pumpkin at 350°F (175°C) until fork tender.

5.

Allow the pumpkin to cool for 15 minutes. Rake the insides of both pumpkin halves with the prongs of a fork to loosen the pulp. Using the spoon, carefully scoop the roasted pumpkin out of the first pumpkin half and into a clean bowl taking care not to tear the rind. Use the fork to break up any hard lumps or patches. Repeat with the second half. The pulp will appear stringy, but this is fine.Rake roasted pumpkin with fork and scoop out with large spoon.

6.

With a blender or food processor, puree the cooked pulp until smooth and creamy.Puree until smooth.

7.

Use puree immediately or store in plastic freezer storage bags. May be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for ups to 6 months.Store in freezer bags.

*Larger pumpkins or those with thicker walls will require longer roasting times.

David Ellis
David Ellis is the Founder and Editor of The Kitchen Journals. He is a food writer, an avid cooking enthusiast. In 2009, he started a food blog, David’s Table, and quickly learned that blogging was lonely work. He developed The Kitchen Journals to work with other food writers and bloggers. He lives in Washington, DC.

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